| Ahoy! This here is the 88th Featured Article.
"Roronoa Zoro" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
An extremely powerful and strong fighter with immense potential, Zoro is one of the crew's top four strongest fighters, having the fourth highest bounty, after Luffy, Jinbe, and Sanji. When taking his stern personality into account, others mistake him as the captain of the Straw Hats after witnessing his skills in battle on some occasions.
Despite a near constant rivalry with fellow Straw Hat Sanji, the two have proven to be a near-unstoppable force when working together, as exemplified in the fight against the Groggy Monsters. It should also be noted that during Zoro's fights with Luffy (canon and filler), the two are portrayed to be almost evenly matched.
Through years of extremely rigorous training since childhood, which consist mainly of grueling body building exercises in addition to hard training in swordsmanship, Zoro has immense physical prowess, particularly his strength and agility.
After two years of intense training with Dracule Mihawk, Zoro has grown significantly more powerful than before. It is shown during his first appearance after the timeskip, that he can cut through a large ship with ease, speed, and precision (also considering without the use of his left eye). Zoro was even able to cut a Pacifista in half with just one slash from his swords. Two years prior, he barely managed to slightly damage one.
Zoro's newly-found strength is further demonstrated when he averts the previously mentioned formula of fighting the arc's second strongest foe when he easily defeats Hody Jones, a powerful fish-man and captain of the New Fish-Man Pirates. He accomplishes this with just a single, one-sword strike, despite being at a disadvantage fighting a fish-man underwater. He has also grown strong enough to be able to effortlessly defeat a Logia user of inferior fighting ability, as he demonstrated to Monet by cutting her vertically in half without Haki.
Even without his swords, Zoro has monstrous physical strength. At a very young age, he was able to lift boulders over his head for training and during his regular training regimen, he would constantly train with heavy weights. Overall, Zoro is able to lift and toss an entire building. Zoro's sword strikes were precisely executed with an enormous amount of force, able to create compressed air slashes powerful enough to cut through armored soldiers and hard materials such as stone or steel and even break the Tekkai of Zoan Devil Fruit enhanced Kaku. He was even strong enough to deflect a punch from Oars before the timeskip, and has developed the ability to pump his arms up with pure muscle.
However, Zoro seemed unable to effectively control his strength prior to the timeskip. This is shown when he tried to hold back while fighting the shipwrights of Galley-La using the dull edge of his swords, and yet still caused serious damage.
After the two year timeskip, it seems that Zoro has exponentially increased in physical strength as he was able to cut a Galleon ship in half and block an attack from the huge King Neptune's equally massive trident with ease. In Dressrosa, while Zoro was trapped under a heavy gravitational field created by Issho, Zoro can still muster enough strength to perform an extremely powerful flying slash that bypassed the force of the gravitational field.
He has also been shown to be highly skilled in hand to hand combat even able to effectively knock out much larger creatures with unarmed strikes. Furthermore, he has been able to defeat opponents with punches and kicks and even is able to fight on par with Sanji during their arguments, even without his swords at times. He invented Mutoryu, a style of hand to hand combat based on his sword techniques.
Zoro's agility, speed, and overall reflexes are also extraordinary. He has shown that he is quick and agile enough to keep up with Sanji, who is an extremely agile martial art master, as well as two Soru users simultaneously, Kaku and Jabra, who were among the most powerful masters of the Rokushiki martial arts. He can move at nearly imperceptible speeds, jump to great heights, and dodge bullets with ease.
On numerous occasions, Zoro has shown being able easily to evade or block high-speed attacks and projectiles that move so fast that it would normally be impossible for an average human to even notice them, much less evade them. Thus, Zoro was able to dodge simultaneous pressure shots as well as a laser blast from Bartholomew Kuma, both of which travel at extremely high speed, even after being heavily injured from his previous fights with Oars and fatigued from his fight with Ryuma.
After the timeskip, Zoro can even swim underwater at a speed faster than a fish-man. This was mentioned by a member of the New Fish-Man Pirates, who exclaimed that it was inconceivable for the swordsman to be faster than a fish-man (referring to the aforementioned battle with Hody Jones) underwater.
To match his incredible strength, Zoro also has an immense tolerance to pain and astonishing amounts of stamina and endurance, evidenced by numerous situations he has thus far endured. Several examples are:
- Dracule Mihawk's black sword slashing his chest.
- Arlong's saw-like nose stabbing into his chest, which had already been wounded by Mihawk.
- Cutting into his own legs to try and free himself from Mr. 3's wax creation.
- Mr. 1's two buzz saws jamming into his chest.
- Enel's extremely powerful lightning based attacks.
- CP9's Kaku's many Rankyaku attacks.
- Receiving a direct kick from the giant Oars.
- Kuma's explosive Ursus Shock attack.
Finally, Zoro managed to absorb all of the damage and fatigue Luffy had accumulated, besides the damage inflicted on him during fights with Oars and Ryuma during the Thriller Bark Arc. This is especially impressive as Kuma had stated to Zoro that, since he was already close to death, taking in Luffy's pain and fatigue in addition to his would definitely kill him. Zoro, however, managed to survive and later only remarked afterward that "nothing happened" when questioned by Sanji, even though Brook saw it happen.
It is notable to mention that while Luffy fell unconscious after he defeated Moria due to his agony and exhaustion, Zoro, on the other hand, not only managed to survive but remained conscious even after accumulating all of the pain and fatigue he and Luffy had sustained, purely by sheer force of will and pride. Even with all the major damage he sustained, he still remained standing, although shortly thereafter he dropped into a coma for three days.
Zoro has survived numerous wounds that would easily kill normal people, showcasing his endurance and durability, and the majority of his battles lead to him being drenched in blood and sustaining lethal injuries. Even while in an almost death-like state, he is still able to battle against strong enemies and even fight with improved skill, tenacity, and a clear head.
All this demonstrates some of the greatest feats of endurance seen in the entire One Piece series, especially for one without Devil Fruit powers. He also has exceptional healing capabilities, able to recover from the most brutal injuries within a fairly short period of time, as shown that despite he nearly died after absorbing Luffy's immense pain and fatigue from Kuma's Devil Fruit powers, Zoro regained consciousness and was capable of walking again after only a few days.
Lack of Orientation
Outside of battles, Zoro has one obvious weakness: his complete lack of orientation. He often demonstrates that he can easily get lost everywhere and always walks in the wrong direction. He even sometimes walks the wrong way when having his target in plain sight, looking for shortcuts. Zoro can also get confused by his own directions, such as in the Skypiea Arc when he intended to go right, but instead went to his left. Also, In Enies Lobby, Nami pointed towards a flight of stairs and told everyone to run to the roof of a building, but Zoro dashed away as if looking for some other way to the top of a building. He has also gotten lost running through a straight corridor. In Dressrosa, his lack of orientation gave the dwarf Wicca a terrible time while she desperately tried to lead Zoro in the right direction only to have him consistently run in a completely wrong direction even when Wicca pointed towards the right place to go,
These traits often worry the other Straw Hats and make them look out for Zoro and sometimes mock him for it (Sanji especially). However, just like Luffy, Zoro is hopelessly oblivious to or embarrassed by this fact and usually blames the other Straw Hats for being "lost". His terrible lack of orientation was so profound that when his shadow was used by Gecko Moria to create the zombie Jigoro, the trait was passed onto the zombie as well, as seen when the zombie walked in the wrong direction as other General zombies who were heading to assist Tararan. After the two year timeskip, Zoro was able to be the first member to arrive at Sabaody Archipelago, shocking Sanji. However, this was due to Perona's help.
Zoro has repeatedly shown to be a very shrewd and perceptive man in and out of combat. During the Whisky Peak Arc, Zoro was the only one aware of the imminent threat of the bounty hunters in the town. He was also able to easily identify the bounty hunters as members of Baroque Works and made it clear to them that he was aware of their organization, which caught them all off guard. At Water 7, Zoro provided important and logical choices by evaluating the situation and the best way to handle what, at the time, seemed like Robin's betrayal. During the Post-Enies Lobby Arc he was the one who reminded the crew of Luffy's position as the captain, and that Usopp was the one ultimately at fault for his fight with Luffy, and made it perfectly clear to all of them why they should not allow him to return to the crew until he apologized, a point which everyone ultimately ended up agreeing to.
Zoro has also shown himself to be great at adapting to dire situations. While he was hand-cuffed to Sogeking during battle, Zoro dealt with this handicap by forcing Sogeking to hold on to one of his swords and position himself to be perfectly still while holding the sword, which effectively (and also comically) allowed Zoro to use him as an improvised sword, which let him continue the previous battle with the CP9 agents. While on Thriller Bark, Zoro correctly deduced that Moria's subordinates were primarily used to provide distractions for them while they were fighting Oars to stall them long enough so that the sun would rise before they could win. During the Sabaody Archipelago Arc, Zoro was the only one to quickly notice that the enemy they were fighting could not possibly be Bartholomew Kuma despite both being cyborgs who look exactly alike.
Two years later, he uses his intellect more in battle. During the his fight with Pica, Zoro forced the latter into a direct fight by cutting the stone statue he was merged with in half, and then proceeded to cut up pieces of debris in mid-air until Pica decided to fight him head-on. Zoro also came up with the idea to stop Birdcage, whereas others believed that it was incapable of stopping. While posing as a Ronin in Wano, Zoro was able to discern from observation and the smell of blood and deduced that the magistrate was the real culprit of the street murders.
Zoro is an expert in meditation. He regularly practiced meditation to calm his mind and honed his focus and mental dexterity in swordsmanship. Due to his fervent practice of meditation, Zoro developed strong spiritual capabilities. In Ipponmatsu's sword shop, Zoro could accurately identify Sandai Kitetsu's supernatural nature as a cursed katana after holding it for the first time, and later he managed to fully tame the cursed sword and its violent nature for bloodshed with his will. When pushed to the brink of death during his fight with Mr. 1, Zoro would suddenly awaken 'the breath of all things', which allowed him to spiritually sense where all things were around him. In that instant, he was able to know where all the boulders Mr. 1 tried to collapse on top of him, and dodge accordingly.
He could also detect the Wado Ichimonji among a pile of rubble and later able to sense the Sandai Kitetsu while he was stuck in a chimney in Water 7 and the Shusui after it was stolen from him in Dressrosa. Due to his powerful spirituality, Zoro could actually incorporate mystical power into his swordsmanship, generating aura of various mythical beasts when performing certain sword techniques, the most prominent being the Kyutoryu, a supernatural variation of Santoryu which he instinctively created during a fierce fight with Kaku, and managed to attain full control of this sword style on his second try, creating the aura of an Asura version of himself and defeat Kaku, an extremely powerful Rokushiki user.
- Further information: Santoryu
Zoro is an extremely powerful Strong Blade (豪剣 Gōken?) type master swordsman, being able to use one, two, and three swords in varying attack styles, going from melee-type all the way to long range sword strikes. He is even able to use Flying Slashes (飛ぶ斬撃 Tobu Zangeki?), a high level sword technique that utilizes the very air pressure of sword swings itself to strike the enemy from a distance. Zoro can also carefully time his sword strikes to counter or deflect extremely powerful attacks such as Kaku's Rankyaku. As noted by Brook, Zoro is an user of Power of Destruction (破壊力 Hakairyoku?), a concept to describe a swordsman with immense physical strength.
In addition to his tremendous mastery of Santoryu (三刀流? literally: "Three Swords Style"), Zoro has exceptional skills in Ittoryu (一刀流? literally: "One Sword Style"), being able to hold off the Nyaban brothers, defeat several of the lower-ranked members of Arlong's crew, as well as defeating Mr. 1, the strongest agent of the Baroque Works using only one sword. Zoro also has immense mastery of Nitoryu (二刀流? literally: "Two Swords Style") which was his original fighting style in his childhood before he started practicing Santoryu. In Thriller Bark, before he acquired Shusui as a replacement for the destroyed Yubashiri, Zoro could dual wield both Wado Ichimonji and Sandai Kitetsu with incredible power and precision, able to fight equivalently with Ryuma, an extremely powerful samurai zombie imbued with Brook's swordsmanship skills through the Kage Kage no Mi for a majority of their battle before switching to use Ittoryu to finish off the undead samurai.
After his two years under Mihawk's tutelage, his skills in all the three styles have grown so powerful that he was able to defeat the fish-man Hody Jones while underwater with a single sword strike, and effortlessly defeated Hyouzou, the best swordsman of Fish-Man Island, considering him to be too weak to even kill his boredom, despite the latter having gone through a transformation due to the Energy Steroids. He easily defeated Fujin and Raijin, who were among Wano's most elite ninjas, with Ittoryu
Using Nitoryu, he is able to fight Monet, a Logia user and an officer of the Donquixote Pirates as well as Gyukimaru, an extremely powerful warrior monk, without using his full strength. He was also able to defeat several members of the Orochi Oniwabanshu, the strongest ninjas in Wano, with ease despite only having two swords. Zoro was also able to cleanly slice apart Pica's gigantic stone statue with Haki-infused sword strikes.
While disguised as a ronin in Wano Country, Zoro used a short Tanto to perform a powerful flying slash that cut down a magistrate along with the building despite the short range of the blade, a further testament of his improved skills in swordsmanship. Additionally, after having Shusui taken from him and during his fight against the assassin Kamazo, Zoro was able to not only take the scythe from the assassin after being stabbed in the shoulder, but use it as an improvised blade to perform his Santoryu, which is another testament to his improved swordsmanship. 
Since no one else has been seen using anything similar to his Santoryu style (except for Jigoro while he possessed Zoro's shadow), it can be assumed that Zoro invented not only Santoryu but most, if not all, of his sword techniques. He is even seen perfecting a new technique in his fight with Braham.
If he is fighting weaker enemies (or innocent bystanders that he has no desire to injure in the first place), like the Galley-La employees in Water 7, he uses only the blunt sides of his swords. Although, as Nami and Chopper pointed out, due to his strength, even that could cause fatal injuries.
A long standing problem with Zoro prior to his fight with Daz Bonez was his inability to cut steel. The anime incorrectly shows him instinctively cutting steel during some of his encounters before learning how to control and master this ability during his battle with Daz Bonez. After his two years of training, Zoro is now able to easily cut through materials even stronger than steel. He has shown the ability to slice through steel "like fruit", and is now strong enough to decapitate a legendary beast like a dragon with ease.
Zoro seems to be predominantly left-handed. He keeps all three of his swords sheathed next to his right hip, an indication of being left-handed as it would be easier to pull a sword out from that side with a left hand. Also, when using one sword in combat, Zoro is usually seen using his left hand to wield the sword. His Ittoryu techniques have nearly always been executed with his left hand. Despite being left-handed, Zoro has rigorously trained since his childhood to be extremely ambidextrous in his swordsmanship, able to use his right hand and his jaw to perform equally powerful sword strikes with incredible precision.
- Further information: Kyutoryu
During his battle against Kaku, Zoro manages to awaken a new sword style known as "Kyutoryu", which gives him the appearance of having six arms and three heads, like the deity Asura, when activating the technique Kiki Kyutoryu: Asura. He also becomes surrounded by a dark aura while in this state, and the first time he achieved it, the ground shook and numerous holes appeared in it.
This ability also allows Zoro to utilize nine swords in combat to effectively triple his potential as a swordsman, and it is usually used as an extremely powerful finishing move. Kaku noted it as a tangible spiritual aura created by Zoro's spirit through intense spiritual focus, which was able to inflict immense physical damage.
During his adventures, Zoro has acquired many swords. The three he currently uses are:
- Meito; Wado Ichimonji (formerly belonged to Kuina)
- Meito; Sandai Kitetsu (formerly belonged to Ipponmatsu)
- Meito; Enma (formerly belonged to Kozuki Oden)
After the time-skip, Shusui appeared to be his "go-to" sword as it tended to be his choice when he uses Ittoryu. He often wielded Shusui with his right hand, the Sandai Kitetsu with his left, and the Wado Ichimonji in his mouth. When Zoro accepts returning Shusui back to Ryuma's grave, in exchange, he is given a new sword by Kozuki Hiyori, the legendary blade Enma.
For one reason or another, Zoro has one or more of his swords destroyed, removed from his possession, or incapacitated in some way:
- Katana x2 (both were destroyed by Dracule Mihawk)
- Johnny's and Yosaku's swords (returned to them after the battle)
- Meito; Hana Arashi (Sogeking, handcuffed to Zoro, holding on to Yubashiri. It stopped being used when Sogeking was unlocked from Zoro)
- Meito; Yubashiri: 1 of 50 (Skillful Grade) Ryo Wazamono (formerly belonged to Ipponmatsu, destroyed at Enies Lobby by Shu, now resting on Thriller Bark)
- Marine cutlass x2 (the first one was destroyed by Shu, and the second one was consequently left behind after the immediate battle at Enies Lobby)
- Meito; Shusui (formerly belonged to Ryuma; Returned to Wano Country)
- Further information: Haki
It was stated by Luffy that Zoro possesses Haki, when discussing it in the context of members of his crew who could fight Caesar Clown, a Logia user. Because Law was referring to the ability to coat themselves in armor it confirms Zoro as a Busoshoku Haki user.
Prior to the Sabaody Archipelago Arc Zoro was never aware of Haoshoku Haki, something he (along with the rest of the crew) had not shown any knowledge of during the first half of the series. However he, along with Sanji, has commented on Luffy's ability to passively knock out half of Hody's men, stating that if Luffy could not at least do that much then he would have had to have stepped down from being captain.
While fighting Monet, a Logia user, on Punk Hazard, Zoro was able to slash her on the cheek, displaying the use of Busoshoku Haki, after saving Tashigi. Being his personal Haki specialty, Zoro has extraordinary mastery of Busoshoku Haki. During the Dressrosa Arc, it is revealed that Mihawk taught Zoro how to imbue his swords with Haki. He can imbue Busoshoku Haki into all three of his swords at once; in doing so, he managed to cut down Pica, who had already covered his entire body with the same Haki, thereby also demonstrating his supreme mastery over Haki as compared to the Donquixote top executive. In One Piece Film: Gold, Zoro was able to reinforce his arms with Haki to successfully defend simultaneous slashes from both his swords Sandai Kitetsu and Shusui without getting injured at all. During his time as a ronin in Wano, Zoro showed he was capable of imbuing Busoshoku Haki into various other blades besides his swords, such as a short tanto and a scythe. After he received Enma in Wano, Zoro's mastery in Busoshoku Haki is further shown when he forces his Haki back into his arm that was forcefully drained by Enma.
Zoro is very skilled in the use of Kenbunshoku Haki, as shown when he was asked by Luffy if he could sense a "wild animal" in the Ryugu Palace, he stated that he could. In the anime, Zoro was shown using Kenbunshoku Haki to locate Pica during the Dressrosa Arc.