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The Yonko are the four most notorious and powerful pirate captains in the world. They are not allies nor are they strictly enemies of one another. Rather, the four prefer to remain autonomous under most circumstances.
These four individually reside within the second half of the Grand Line (known as the "New World"), exerting impressive influence and control over dozens of other pirate crews and self-governing islands. They make up one of The Three Great Powers.
In the decisive Battle of Marineford, Whitebeard, one of the Yonko, met his end towards the climax of the Summit War. Blackbeard, his killer, subsequently usurped his position within the following year. Shanks, another member of the Yonko, arbitrated a ceasefire to end the aforementioned war.
Following the events of the Whole Cake Island Arc, the World Economy News Paper has referred to Monkey D. Luffy as standing adjacent to the Yonko as the "Fifth Emperor" of the sea. This was both due to the events of the arc and interviews performed with Cavendish and Bartolomeo, who informed the journalists of the 5000-member Straw Hat Grand Fleet.
|Charlotte Linlin||Kaido||Shanks||Marshall D. Teach||Edward Newgate †|
|Big Mom Pirates||Beasts Pirates||Red Hair Pirates||Blackbeard Pirates||Whitebeard Pirates ‡|
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
- ≠: the character is non-canon.
- ‡: the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
Abilities and PowersEdit
As an entity, the Yonko are one of the Three Great Powers of the world, with the others being the Marines and the SSG, and formerly, the Shichibukai. Their strength and influence are such that they live quite literally as though they are emperors, doing mostly as they please.
Individually, they are considered to be the most powerful pirates in the world, with devastatingly powerful and versatile Devil Fruit abilities, immense physical strength, endurance, and durability, and/or sheer mastery of Haki.
In addition, three of the four original Yonko (Whitebeard, Kaido, and Big Mom) were former members of the legendary Rocks Pirates, which was considered the world's strongest pirate crew of their time. During a marine briefing it was stated that an alliance between two of the Yonko could lead to the formation of the strongest pirate crew in recorded history, and that the collective bounty of such an organization's captains alone would easily dwarf that of even the Pirate King himself.
Whitebeard was, even in his old age, considered the strongest man in the world. He possessed an enormous amount of brute strength. He was able to stop a charging battle ship with only one hand, even after he had been severely weakened by his poor health and battle damage.
Whitebeard had an immeasurable level of endurance. Before dying, he took 267 cuts, 152 gunshots, 46 bombshells, as well as attacks from Marine Admirals Kizaru and Akainu, all while his health was failing him. Despite all this, his body remained upright on his feet post-mortem.
Shanks stands on equal ground with his fellow Yonko, despite his young age. However, the full range of his strength remains largely unknown.
Shanks is so strong, his presence alone was enough to convince countless elite Marine officers to stand down, rather than risk enraging him.
Even before gaining Devil Fruit powers, Blackbeard was an extremely capable combatant. He was able to leave a lasting scar on the Yonko, Red Hair Shanks, and not because Shanks was being careless.
Blackbeard has a high level of endurance. His darkness Logia is unique in that it doesn't allow him to turn intangible. Just the opposite actually, as any attack that hits will hurt worse than normal. This never slows Blackbeard down for long though.
Big Mom possesses an immense level of brute strength. She can destroy entire cities and sink massive battle ships with her bare hands. Her body is indestructible but becomes more vulnerable when she suffers a mental shock.
Upon entering an emotional crisis, the raw power of her voice alone is able to incapacitate extremely powerful fighters such as Katakuri and Smoothie. Her voice is also powerful enough to act as a barrier against bazooka fire.
Kaido has been called "The Strongest Living Creature in the World" and for good reason. Kaido possesses an unfathomable level of brute strength. He was able to beat a Gear Fourth enhanced Luffy in a single hit without even using Haki.
Kaido possesses great speed. He was able to clear several meters distance in an instant.
Like Big Mom, Kaido has been noted for his borderline indestructible body, being impervious to damage and conventional weaponry. Kaido especially; he has been sentenced to execution 40 times and survived every time. When they tried to hang him, the chain snapped, when they tried to impale him, the spears broke, when they tried to chop his head off, the blade shattered. Most notably, Kaido survived a 10,000 meter fall and walked away with only a small headache. The only person known to harm Kaido was Kozuki Oden, who used the famous blade Enma.
Whitebeard, the first Yonko to display his full fighting prowess, was, even in his old age, considered to be the Strongest Man in the World, possessed the potentially world destroying quake powers of the Gura Gura no Mi, the Devil Fruit considered to be the strongest within that of the Paramecia class. He was eventually killed in the Battle of Marineford after receiving nearly 500 grievous wounds, and even then, died standing as a testament to his tenacity and inhuman strength.
Blackbeard, who already ate the Yami Yami no Mi had taken the Gura Gura no Mi powers from Whitebeard's corpse through unknown means, thus becoming the first known individual to have acquired multiple Devil Fruit abilities. With the aid of his newfound powers, he would usurp Whitebeard's former position as a Yonko over the course of the following year. The Yami Yami no Mi gives the user an infinite amount of space inside of their body made of darkness, as well as power over the forces of gravity and absorption, described as "the power to reduce all to nothingness".
Big Mom ate the Paramecia class Soru Soru no Mi, it gives her the power to steal people's souls, then place those souls in objects, bringing the objects to life to be her servants, known as Homies. With this power, she had thousands of loyal subordinates under her command. Among these servants were three special Homies made from fragments of Big Moms own super powerful soul; the sun Homie, Prometheus, who gave Big Mom power over the element of fire; the thunder cloud Homie, Zeus, who gave Big Mom power over the element of lightning; and the bicorn hat Homie, Napoleon, who could turn into a sword with devastating attack power.
Kaido ate a yet to be named Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit which allows him to transform into a huge eastern dragon. His dragon power allows him to fly, and he can release a devastatingly powerful blast of fire from his mouth that can easily destroy an entire building in a single shot.
Whitebeard is one of the very small number of people in the world capable of utilizing all three types of Haki.
- Haoshoku: Whitebeard is capable of using Haoshoku. He attempted to use it to knockout the executioners who were about to kill Ace, but Luffy beat him to the punch.
- Busoshoku: Whitebeard is capable of using Busoshoku. He attempted to stab Aokiji with a Haki infused blade, but failed because Aokiji formed a hole in his ice body.
- Kenbunshoku: Whitebeard is capable of using Kenbunshoku. He was able to sense Crocodile coming to attack him, but didn't react because he could also sense that Luffy would stop the Logia user. He was also able to sense Ace's multiple attempts to murder him, even while sleeping.
Shanks is one of the very small number of people in the world capable of utilizing all three types of Haki.
- Haoshoku: Shanks is capable of using Haoshoku. His skill with this Haki is so great, even Marco the Phoenix, a veteran of the New World who had the great Whitebeard as a comparison, described it as impressive. It has been stated that Shanks could have knocked out all 100,000 fighters of the New Fishman Pirates.
- Busoshoku: Shanks is capable of using Busoshoku. His skill with this Haki is so great, he was able to stop an attack from the lava Logia, the Devil Fruit said to have the greatest attack power of them all. He didn't even need to use the Koka technique.
- Kenbunshoku: It has been stated that Shanks can use Kenbunshoku.
It has been stated that Blackbeard can use at least two types of Haki.
- Busoshoku: It has been stated that Blackbeard can use Busoshoku.
- Kenbunshoku: It has been stated that Blackbeard can use Kenbunshoku.
Big Mom is one of the very small number of people in the world capable of utilizing all three types of Haki.
- Haoshoku: Big Mom is capable of using Haoshoku. She tends to release this Haki in times of emotional distress, such as when she became angry when she heard about Cracker being defeated, or when she went into a sadness frenzy after the portrait of Mother Caramel was broken.
- Busoshoku: Big Mom is capable of using Busoshoku. Using the Koka technique, she was able to block a Gear Fourth attack from Luffy using only one arm without even flinching.
- Kenbunshoku: It has been stated that Big Mom can use Kenbunshoku.
Though powerful in their own right, much of the Yonko's martial strength can be attributed to their elite and abundant crews, as well as to their close alliances with other pirate captains. After the timeskip Trafalgar Law cited that there are only two methods of surviving in the New World, and that is to be protected under the umbrella of a Yonko's dominion and become their subordinate or to constantly oppose their authority. At least Teach and Kaido are both gaining influence and strength in the form of amassing Devil Fruit powers, both in their own unorthodox methods, while Big Mom constantly increases the strength of her crew by marrying her dozens of children into various powerful organizations to create a network of bloodline connections, forming the infrastructure of her own army.
Whitebeard's crew amounted to 1616 men, and he also had 43 subordinate New World crews to aid him in his efforts to rescue Ace, each headed by an infamous pirate captain. Big Mom's crew is even larger, consisting of tens of thousands of soldiers and led by dozens of her children, further boosted by an unknown number of subordinate crews who married into the Charlotte Family. According to Law, Kaido has over 500 artificial Zoan Devil Fruit users. Also, Kaido’s crew has been amounted to be over 20,000. It is unknown how large is Shanks' fleet as only his personal ship is shown.
Due to the sheer size of their crews, most of the Yonko utilize several executive officers to lead their forces. Because of their exposure and feats as top brass for the Yonko, they are regarded as a huge threat by the Marines, second only to their captains. Thus far, five of the seven highest known active bounties all belong to Yonko executive officers. As seen with top Whitebeard commanders' Marco, Ace, Jozu, and Vista's skirmishes with the Shichibukai and Marine Admirals during the Battle of Marineford, these top officers are seen to be able to contend with the elites of the other two Great Powers.
Accordingly, they each have a large territory that they govern within the New World. The Yonko provide protection to all who reside within their territories, keeping the borders safe from any faction that may wish to invade them. Big Mom's territory, Totto Land, is heavily protected by scouting ships and by watchtowers called Tartes that dot the coastlines of each of her islands, both prepared to inspect and potentially shoot down any ships not affiliated with her crew. She also has territorial sea slugs that patrol the waters, warning would-be intruders that they are entering her territory. Finally, Big Mom has 34 ministers as part of her administration, one to run the affairs of each of her territory's subsidiary islands.
Because of their power, the Yonko can declare chosen locations as their own. The mere declaration is often enough to compel others, both Marines and pirates alike, to acknowledge and respect the Yonko's authority. When Whitebeard declared the crime-ridden Fish-Man Island to be under his control, he immediately ended all pirate attacks on the island as well as its slave trade.
The Yonko themselves are the linchpin to their respective crews' influence onto the world, as Charlotte Perospero feared that if Big Mom were to die from a possible poisoned wedding cake, her crew and the entire Totto Land empire would collapse. When Whitebeard died, all the locations he declared to be his territory were instantly open for attacks and for other Yonko to take, and the remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates were mainly shunned aside by the crew that usurped their infamy in the great sea.
They can also motivate others to partake in a life of piracy. Shanks personally inspired Luffy, and Whitebeard's last words inspired many pirates to travel to the Grand Line.
Balance of the Three PowersEdit
It is only with the combined efforts of the Marines and the Shichibukai, as well as the distrust amongst themselves, that keeps their power in check. During the Battle of Marineford, the Marines and Shichibukai needed to fight together just to engage one of the Yonko, Whitebeard, his crew, and their allies. The arrival of a second Yonko, Shanks, and his crew, immediately brought an end to the hostilities, showing the power and influence they have without even needing to resort to combat.
The Yonko themselves are not a coalition like the Shichibukai, and they follow their own discrete agendas. Nevertheless, some of the Yonko like Marshall D. Teach and Charlotte Linlin still have the intention of locating the One Piece and becoming Pirate King, while former Yonko Whitebeard had no such interest in doing so.
The possibility of two or more of the Yonko forming an alliance was enough of a threat to cause the World Government to panic, as seen when it unsuccessfully attempted to prevent a meeting between Shanks and Whitebeard. The World Government feared that the two Yonko would unify, creating a much more imposing threat that would disrupt the balance between the Great Powers. A war between two of the Yonko is considered a terrifying crisis, as Shanks' interception of Kaido's advancement on Whitebeard had taken the Marines by shock and awe, putting the World Government in a "cold sweat" as stated by one of the Marines.
Though very powerful, they do have potential threats from even lower ranked fighters and pirates. For example, it is said that once Elizabello II has gathered enough strength, his King Punch can knock down even a Yonko. However, because of their immense power, it is necessary for factions aiming to oppose them to first form an alliance with other factions in order to bring the Yonko down. However, even with pirate crews forming multiple alliances, the chances of defeating a Yonko are still extremely low. When the Straw Hat Pirates and the Heart Pirates formed an alliance to defeat Kaido, Law informed Luffy that he believed their chance of success was still only 30%.
During Gol D. Roger's time over 25 years ago, Whitebeard, Shiki, and Big Mom were the most powerful pirates behind the Pirate King. Within 12 years after Roger's execution 24 years ago, Kaido and Shanks rose to power, forming the Yonko that existed at the start of the series.
20 years ago, Kaido allied with the shogun of Wano Country. After the execution of Kozuki Oden, Kaido attempted to kill the rest of his family, but Toki sent her son and retainers to the future. Kaido took over Wano Country and transformed most of it into a wasteland.
It was about six years ago when Shanks started being referred to as a Yonko.
About four years ago, Kaido formed a partnership with Donquixote Doflamingo and Caesar Clown so that the two would give him Artificial Devil Fruits known as SMILEs, which he used to create an army of Devil Fruit users known as Gifters.
Post-Enies Lobby ArcEdit
Shanks initiated a meeting with Whitebeard, and the two Yonko met with each other despite the World Government attempting to form a blockade. Shanks warned Whitebeard about the rise of the latter's former subordinate Blackbeard, and told Whitebeard to call off Portgas D. Ace's pursuit. However, Whitebeard refused, and the two briefly fought, with their clash of blades splitting the heavens.
Summit War SagaEdit
Impel Down ArcEdit
In an attempt to rescue Ace from execution, Whitebeard summoned all of his allies from the New World in preparation for war. Kaido attempted to attack Whitebeard, but he was intercepted by Shanks.
Whitebeard and his crew and allies arrived at Marineford three hours before Ace's scheduled execution and initiated what would be known as the greatest war since the beginning of the Golden Age of Pirates. During this battle against the Marines, Whitebeard revealed how debilitated he had become over the last two decades, and he steadily acquired increasingly critical wounds from his enemies because of his weakened state.
During the battle, he destroyed most of Marine Headquarters, easily defeated two large giants who were at the rank of vice-admirals, and withstood the combined efforts of the three Admirals. He was able to help free Ace, but Admiral Akainu executed Ace afterwards. An enraged Whitebeard dealt a serious blow to the admiral, but it was not enough to completely incapacitate him.
Remaining at Marineford alone to resolve the conflict with the Marines, Whitebeard was attacked and ultimately killed by the Blackbeard Pirates. Shortly afterwards, Shanks arrived at Marineford with his crew. His presence spared the remaining allies of Whitebeard and brought the war to an end. Shanks challenged Blackbeard, which the latter turned down before leaving with his own crew.
During the TimeskipEdit
After the death of Whitebeard, Big Mom took over as the protector of Fish-Man Island in exchange for a large amount of candy every month, forming an alliance with the Sun Pirates. She also formed an alliance with the Fire Tank Pirates.
Blackbeard also usurped Whitebeard's position as the fourth Yonko as the Five Elders predicted, having managed to conquer most of Whitebeard's former territory and becoming stronger by hunting down powerful Devil Fruit users and taking their abilities after killing them. He became recognized as a Yonko after overwhelmingly defeating Marco and the remaining Whitebeard Pirates a year after the Summit War in the "Payback War".
Fish-Man Island ArcEdit
When the candy factory was demolished during the uprising of the New Fish-Man Pirates and Flying Pirates, Fish-Man Island almost provoked Big Mom's wrath, since the island did not have enough candy for the tribute to her. Monkey D. Luffy pledged that he would claim Fish-Man Island as his protectorate by defeating Big Mom, shifting her fury from the island to him.
Blackbeard sent Jesus Burgess to Dressrosa in order to win the Mera Mera no Mi in the Corrida Colosseum tournament. While talking with Burgess over Den Den Mushi, Blackbeard came into contact with the passing Luffy and the two had a brief clash of words.
That night, Kaido went up to Ballon Terminal on a sky island and jumped onto an island 10,000 meters below to attempt suicide. He survived the fall with no injuries, and confronted the Supernovas Eustass Kid, Scratchmen Apoo, and Basil Hawkins as he shouted a declaration to start the world's biggest war because he felt it had become too mundane. Kaido then defeated and imprisoned Kid while Apoo and Hawkins became his subordinates.
Big Mom formed an alliance with Vinsmoke Judge who arranged for his third son, Sanji, to marry her 35th daughter, Charlotte Pudding. Big Mom ordered her crew to retrieve Sanji unharmed, and to escort him to the wedding on Whole Cake Island.
Kaido found out about the loss of his SMILE supply and entered drunken mood swings in response, but despite his subordinates' concern, he refused to pay any mind to Luffy and Trafalgar Law, who had destroyed the source of his SMILE.
According to a newspaper report, Blackbeard and his crew attacked the Revolutionary Army's base on Baltigo, destroying it by the time the Marines and Cipher Pol arrived. The Blackbeard Pirates fled after briefly clashing with Cipher Pol.
Whole Cake Island ArcEdit
Big Mom discovered that the Straw Hat Pirates had invaded Totto Land to try to rescue Sanji from his wedding, and she lured them into a trap on Whole Cake Island. However, she herself briefly put Whole Cake Island in danger when she went on a mindless rampage for croquembouche. Her subordinates were successfully able to capture Luffy and Nami, and she met with Judge and the Vinsmoke Family. However, she was secretly plotting with Pudding to assassinate all of the Vinsmokes during the upcoming wedding and take their technology for herself. Big Mom went to confront Brook of the Straw Hats after he had broken into her Room of Treasure. She defeated and captured him, but unbeknownst to her, he had copied the text from all of her Poneglyphs.
Luffy, Nami, and Brook managed to escape from Big Mom's clutches with the help of their crew, but she did not notice as the wedding day arrived. However, the Straw Hats crashed the wedding with the help of Big Mom's subordinates the Fire Tank Pirates and Caesar Clown, and as Big Mom tried to deal with them, she was hit with another blow as her subordinate Jinbe also defected to join the Straw Hats, and the Vinsmoke Family was freed after the assassination attempt proved unsuccessful. The enemy alliance destroyed Big Mom's prized portrait of Mother Carmel, putting her in a psychological crisis that rendered her weak to attack. The Fire Tank Pirates were unable to successfully assassinate her though, and Big Mom regained her senses and easily subdued the enemy alliance with the help of her crew. However, Big Mom's prized treasure the Tamatebako was sent falling and created a massive explosion that toppled over the Chateau. The enemy alliance got away, but as Big Mom's crew began to pursue them, she got a craving for wedding cake. Entering a mindless rampage, she pursued the Straw Hats, who she believed had the cake.
Big Mom pursued the Straw Hats off of Whole Cake Island and into the seas of Totto Land for several hours, and grew skinnier and weaker as time passed on. She then attacked the Sunny to find the cake, threatening to kill the Straw Hats onboard. Bege's ship later arrived with the cake, diverting her attention away from the Straw Hats. Big Mom then pursued the Fire Tank Pirates and followed them to Funwari Island, where she ate the cake and ceased her rampage, collapsing from the deliciousness of the cake. Later when she woke up, she was briefed on the current situation. Rather than attempting to chase after the Fire Tank Pirates, she headed towards Cacao Island where her crew was battling the Sun Pirates and Germa 66, who stalled the Yonko's crew from pursuing the Thousand Sunny. After the Straw Hats successfully escaped, Big Mom arrived at the island before the Sun Pirates and Germa 66 could retreat.
News of the events between Luffy and Big Mom were published in the World Economy News Paper, which claimed the incident as Luffy's victory and declared him to be "the Fifth Emperor" among the Yonko. All four of the Yonko read the newspaper and commented on Luffy's new status.
Wano Country ArcEdit
At Wano Country, a drunk Kaido went to Kuri to order Jack to bring his enemies to him. When Hawkins told him that Luffy and Law were hiding in Oden Castle, Kaido proceeded to destroy the castle ruins. Afterwards, Luffy attempted to defeat Kaido only to be overpowered by a single blow. Kaido then decided to take Luffy prisoner and turn him into a subordinate.
Meanwhile, Gecko Moria attacked Blackbeard's territory on Hachinosu to find his missing subordinate Absalom, whom the Blackbeard Pirates had killed. Blackbeard offered for Moria to sail under his flag after the latter found out what had happened.
Big Mom and her crew reached Wano Country, and attempted to scale the waterfall around it as Kaido tried to have his men stop her. King of the Beasts Pirates flew in and attacked the Big Mom Pirates' ship, causing them to fall back down. Big Mom fell into the ocean and washed up on Kuri Beach, but ended up losing her memories.
Later, she arrived at Udon Prison, where she got into a confrontation with Queen, one of Kaido's crew members, and recovered her memories in the process. However, Queen captured her when she fell unconscious. Immediately, Linlin was taken to Onigashima, where she was held in handcuffs as a prisoner, until Kaido ordered her released. At that moment, both began to fight, with their clash of weapons splitting the sky.
After a few days, Kaido and Big Mom eventually stopped their clash and came to an agreement. The two then announced that the Big Mom Pirates and the Beasts Pirates were officially forming a pirate alliance to take over the world.
- The original four Yonko are stated to each have their own point when they are most fearsome: Shanks when he is enraged, Whitebeard when someone does dishonorable or inhumane things, Big Mom when she is in a bad mood, and Kaido has always been terrifying.
- Marshall D. Teach is the only known person to serve as both a Shichibukai and later a Yonko.
- It is said that once Elizabello II has gathered enough strength, his King Punch can knock down even a Yonko.
- All the Yonko's crews are named after their respective captain's epithet.
- Linlin claimed that had she managed to marry off her daughter Charlotte Lola to Elbaf prince Loki to secure a political alliance, she would have gained the strongest army of giants that would have allowed her to defeat the other three Yonko and become the next Pirate King.
- Kaido is the only Yonko whose epithet is a mere addition to his real name, and so is also the only one who is addressed by name by the people who do not know him, instead of his full epithet.
- Kaido is currently the only Yonko who isn't confirmed to be a Haki user.
- Blackbeard and Kaido are currently the only Yonko not confirmed to possess Haoshoku Haki.
- Shanks is the only Yonko who did not eat any Devil Fruit.
- Each of the Yonko served under the strongest pirate captain during their time before becoming captains of their own crew. Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaido served under Rocks D. Xebec while Shanks served under the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger, and Blackbeard served under Whitebeard.
- Blackbeard is the only Yonko who did not become a captain of his own pirate crew after his former captain's death.
- Currently, Kaido has the highest known active bounty, while Blackbeard has the lowest amount among Yonko.
- Shanks is the only Yonko who has not been confirmed to have a fleet under his command, making him also the only non-admiral Yonko.
- In their bounty posters, at least two Yonkos are looking in the same direction as the other, with Shanks being the only exception as:
- Big Mom and Kaido appear on their right.
- Blackbeard and Whitebeard appear on their left.
- Shanks is the only one that appears on the middle, although he shares this position with the Pirate King Gol D. Roger.