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Abilities and Powers
Unarguably an extremely powerful and strong young fighter with immense potential, Zoro is one of the Straw Hat Pirates's top three fighters, and his strength is considered so great that, when taking his stern personality into account, people occasionally mistake him as the captain of the Straw Hat Crew after witnessing his skills in battle. While Luffy always fights the strongest enemy, Zoro usually fights the second strongest enemy.
After two years of intense training with Dracule Mihawk, Zoro has grown much more powerful than before. It is shown during his first appearance after the timeskip that he can cut through extremely large objects with incredible 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, where as two years prior he barely managed to only 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, the man in the role of the strongest adversary of the arc that typically does combat with Luffy. He accomplishes this with just a single, one-sword strike, despite being at a disadvantage at fighting a fishman underwater. He has also grown strong enough to be able to effortlessly kill a Logia user of inferior fighting ability, as he demonstrated to Monet by cutting her vertically in half without Haki, proving that she would have died if he were serious.
Even without his swords, Zoro has monstrous physical strength. At a very young age he was able to lift boulders over his head, and is now able to lift and toss an entire building. He can use some sword techniques without his swords, and has also been shown to pack powerful punches. 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 control his strength prior to the timeskip. This is shown when he tries 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 block an attack from the huge King Neptune's equally massive trident with ease.
When not armed with his swords, Zoro has shown to be skilled in hand to hand combat. He has been known to effectively knock out much larger creatures with unarmed strikes. Also he has been able to defeat opponents with massive punches and kicks. Zoro has also been shown to fight on par with Sanji during their arguments, even without his swords at times.
Zoro's agility, speed, and overall reflexes are also extraordinary. He has shown that he is quick enough to keep up with Sanji, who is a master of his own leg-based style, as well as two Soru users simultaneously (Kaku and Jabra). He can move at nearly imperceptible speeds, jump to astonishing heights, and dodge bullets with ease.
On numerous occasions, Zoro has shown being able 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 two years timeskip, Zoro can even move underwater at a speed faster than a fishman. This was mentioned by a member of the New Fishman Pirates, who exclaimed that it was inconceivable for the swordsman to be faster than a fishman (referring to the aforementioned battle with Hody Jones) underwater.
To match his incredible strength, Zoro also has an amazing 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.
- 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 massively 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. 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.
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, although even he dropped into a coma shortly thereafter.
Zoro has survived numerous wounds that would easily kill normal people, showcasing his unbelievable 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 very 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, proving he arguably has the highest endurance out of all the Straw Hat Pirates, who already seem inhuman themselves.
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 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.
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 of this fact and usually blames the other Straw Hats for being "lost". 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. He has also gotten lost running through a straight corridor.
- Further information: Santoryu
Zoro is an extremely powerful master swordsman, being able to use one, two, and three swords in varying attack styles, going from melee-type all the way to artillery. He is even able to use some sword techniques that utilize the very air itself to strike the enemy from a distance. Brook classifies Zoro as a user of the "Power of Destruction" (破壊力, Hakairyoku).
Although he is most comfortable with his Santoryu (literally: three sword style), his skills with a single sword are still quite exceptional, being able to hold off the Nyaban brothers, having bested several of the lower-ranked members of Arlong's crew, defeating Mr. 1, and the zombie, Ryuma. After his two years under Mihawk's tutelage, his skills have grown so powerful that he was able to defeat the fishman Hody Jones while underwater with just one slash from a single sword, and effortlessly defeated the best swordsman of Fishman Island, considering him to be too weak to even kill his boredom, despite the latter having went through a transformation due to the Energy Steroids.
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 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 Bones. After his two years of training Zoro is now able to easily cut through materials even stronger than steel. After the timeskip, 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.
While he is able to use both hands as well as his mouth in sword combat, 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.
- Further information: Kyutoryu
During his battle against Kaku, Zoro manages to unlock a new swordstyle 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 a very powerful finishing move. What this ability is, how Zoro attained it, and the exact nature of this style is currently unknown, but Kaku suggested that it was an illusion created by Zoro's spirit.
During his adventures, Zoro has acquired many swords. The three he currently uses are:
- Meito; Wado Ichimonji (formerly belonged to Kuina)
- Sandai Kitetsu (formerly belonged to Ippon-Matsu)
- Meito; Shusui (formerly belonged to Ryuma)
For one reason or another, maybe as a demonstration of his skill because he can use any sword he must at any time, 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 Ippon-Matsu, 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)
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. However, Zoro did not actively display any of these abilities until the Punk Hazard Arc when he cut Monet on the cheek using Busoshoku Haki.
Although it is unknown if he can use it, Zoro does know about Haoshoku Haki, something he (along with the rest of the crew) had not shown any knowledge of during the first half of the series. But 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. It was also hinted at that both he and Sanji possess Kenbunshoku Haki when asked by Luffy if the pair could sense a "wild animal" in the Ryugu Palace, which they both answered that they could.
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. Zoro particularly specializes in Busoshoku Haki.
|Members||Monkey D. Luffy • Roronoa Zoro • Capone Bege • Jewelry Bonney • Basil Hawkins • Scratchmen Apoo • Eustass Kid • X Drake • Urouge • Killer • Trafalgar Law • Marshall D. Teach|
|Devil Fruit Based||Gomu Gomu no Mi • Ope Ope no Mi • Yami Yami no Mi • Gura Gura no Mi|
|Weapon Based||Wado Ichimonji • Sandai Kitetsu • Shusui • Kikoku|
|Fighting Style Based||Santoryu/Kyutoryu • Haki|
|Crews||Straw Hat Pirates • Kid Pirates • Heart Pirates • Drake Pirates • Hawkins Pirates • Bonney Pirates • Fallen Monk Pirates • Firetank Pirates • On Air Pirates • Blackbeard Pirates|
|Three Great Powers||Shichibukai • Yonko|
|Civilians||Fabre • Yoko • Ryudo • Mitsuboshi • Luigia • Orenami Fanclub • Mendo • Boss|
|Notable Visitors||Largo • Corto • Monkey D. Luffy • Roronoa Zoro • Usopp • Sanji • Nami|
|Story Arc(s)||Little East Blue Arc|
|Members||Cavendish • Monkey D. Luffy • Roronoa Zoro • Capone Bege • Jewelry Bonney • Basil Hawkins • Scratchmen Apoo • Eustass Kid • X Drake • Urouge • Killer • Trafalgar Law • Bartolomeo • Caribou • Coribou|
|Devil Fruit Based||Gomu Gomu no Mi • Ope Ope no Mi • Numa Numa no Mi • Bari Bari no Mi|
|Fighting Style Based||Santoryu • Haki|
|Weapons||Wado Ichimonji • Sandai Kitetsu • Shusui • Kikoku • Durandal|
|Crews||Beautiful Pirates • Straw Hat Pirates • Kid Pirates • Heart Pirates • Drake Pirates • Hawkins Pirates • Bonney Pirates • Fallen Monk Pirates • Firetank Pirates • On Air Pirates • Barto Club • Caribou Pirates|
|Story Arcs||Sabaody Archipelago Arc • Marineford Arc • Post-War Arc • Punk Hazard Arc|
|Manga Canon Participants||Foxy • Porche • Hamburg • Kiba • Fanged Toad Pirate Crewmembers • Capote • Monda • Pickles • Big Pan • Nami • Usopp • Nico Robin • Roronoa Zoro • Sanji • Monkey D. Luffy|
|Announcers||Itomimizu • Chuchun|
|Civilians||Tonjit • Shelly|
|Anime Only Participants||Mashikaku • Chiqicheetah • Jube • Girarin • Tony Tony Chopper|
|Devil Fruit Based||Noro Noro no Mi • Gomu Gomu no Mi|
|Fighting Style Based||Fishman Karate • Mutoryu • Afro • Gorilla Puncher • Gorilla Puncher 13|
|Story Arc(s)||Long Ring Long Land Arc|
|Locomotions||Sexy Foxy • Fanged Toad Pirates' ship • Cutie Wagon • Going Merry • Taru Tiger • Oyakata|
|Citizens||Mobambi • Karasuke • Bald Parrot • Kirin Lion|
|Notable Visitors||Butler • Hotdog • Heaby • Chopper • Nami • Monkey D. Luffy • Roronoa Zoro • Usopp • Sanji|
|Animal Species||Horn Eaters • Trumpet Pig • Square Rhinos|
|Movies||Dream Soccer King • Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals|
|Romance Dawn V.1||Luffy • Shanks • Silk • Galley|
|Romance Dawn V.2||Luffy • Luffy's Grandpa • Ann • Balloon • Spiel|
|Romance Dawn V.3||Gold Roger • Luffy • Shanks • Benn Beckman • Lucky Roo • Yasopp • Higuma • Makino • Woop Slap|
|Romance Dawn Story||Monkey D. Luffy • Nico Robin • Nami • Roronoa Zoro • Tony Tony Chopper • Sanji • Franky • Usopp • Brook • Silk • Galley|
|Monsters||Ryuma • Flare • Cyrano • D.R • The Dragon|
|Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack||Monkey D. Luffy • Roronoa Zoro • Nami • Ganzack • Medaka • Herring • Skid|