Five Kage Summit’s Five Kages: Strongest to Weakest?

Here’s everything about the order of the five kage at the Five Kage Summit from strongest to weakest:

Onoki is arguably the strongest kage at the summit.

The rest, in order of strength, would be A, Danzo, Mei, and then Gaara as the weakest.

The thing about comparing these kage is that they are supposed to be incredibly powerful individuals who are all at or near the same levels of total combat capability.

So if you want to learn all about how the five kage are ranked according to strength, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right into it!

Five Kage Summit's Five Kages: Strongest to Weakest?

What Is a Kage?

We’re going to rank the kage at the Five Kage Summit.

That’s going to require some backstory, so there are a few things to discuss.

First, I have to get into some pretty important plot points to get through this, so consider this a major spoiler warning.

If you’re not up to speed on the original Naruto storyline (I’m sticking to the manga on this one), then this is your chance to stop reading before you get to the spoilers.

Second, we should probably talk about what a kage is.

In Japanese, the term literally means “shadow.”

That makes it an appropriate name for the highest rank of ninja in the Naruto universe.

The kage is the leader of a ninja village, and in most cases, the strongest ninja in that village.

Every village has its own kage chosen by the country’s own methods.

In the main storyline, there are five villages that are the most powerful with some lesser villages existing at the same time.

The five principal villages are the Hidden Leaf, Hidden Stone and Hidden Sand villages, along with the Village Hidden in the Clouds and the Village Hidden in the Mists. 

What Is the Five Kage Summit?

The Five Kage Summit is an event that happens in the Naruto manga (it also happens in the Naruto Shippuden anime).

This is where the leaders of the five most prominent villages meet to discuss the emerging threat presented by the Akatsuki (basically a band of supervillains).

At the summit, the Akatsuki, supported by Sasuke and his team Taka, attack the kage.

It leads to the Fourth Great Ninja war, so it’s a pretty major event.

Who Are the Five Kages at the Five Kage Summit? (5 Ninjas)

If we’re going to ranke the kage, then we should probably go through them and what they can do.

Below, I’ll discuss them in a random order and explain their most notable abilities.

After that, I’ll rank them, and because you have a clear idea of what they can do, that ranking will make sense.

#1 Gaara

Let’s talk about Gaara first.

He’s the fifth Kazekage (leader of the sand village), and he’s the youngest Kazekage in history.

He’s also by far the youngest kage at the summit.

Gaara actually gets a lot more screen time and development than the other kage, and that’s largely because of his roles in storylines in the first half of Naruto (before the time skip).

Gaara was the host of the one-tailed beast.

He was part of the force that attacked the Leaf Village during the Chunin exams.

Later, he saved Rock Lee from Kimimaro when Sasuke left the village.

On top of that, he was in the first saga after the time skip when members of the Akatsuki kidnapped him and stole the one-tailed beast from him.

All of that is to say that we know more about Gaara than most of the other kage, and here’s what matters for this discussion.

He’s insanely talented and super smart.

He recognizes and adapts quickly to situations in combat.

He has enormous chakra reserves and incredible defensive and offensive power with great utility as well.

For the most part, his whole thing is controlling sand.

He can control sand with incredible precision, and he can do it on a large scale.

He saved his village from a blast that was strong enough to level the entire place, showing that he can scale his abilities to low-level nuclear blasts.

Gaara is plenty fast and strong in a general sense, and his defense is high-tier.

He’s a versatile, well-rounded, elite ninja who will not lose to very many other ninjas in the whole world.

#2 Onoki

Onoki is pretty much Gaara’s opposite.

While also incredibly talented, he’s in his 80s during the events of the kage summit.

He’s the oldest kage in the bunch by quite a margin, and he’s been the Third Tsuchikage (leader of the Hidden Rock Village) for a long time.

In fact, he’s so old that he actually fought Madara.

Onoki was young and Madara was old at the time, but they traded blows in combat.

Onoki is clearly the most experienced and wisest kage at the summit.

He’s virtually impossible to trick, and in combat, he sees through attacks and forms strategies in an instant.

Onoki also has the most advanced ninja techniques at the summit.

His dust jutsu is a combination of earth, fire, and wind natures.

The advanced version of it is called the particle technique, and he literally pulverizes his opponents into dust.

It’s a move that can one-shot kill virtually anyone in the Naruto universe.

Onoki can also manipulate gravity.

With this, he can make things heavier or lighter, and he once used it to lift an entire island by himself.

He can also use this technique to fly.

Onoki has countless other techniques that allow him to armor his body with stone and perform many interesting, niche-like abilities.

The particle jutsu and gravity manipulation are the heavy-hitting, unique techniques.

And, it’s likely that his experience and wisdom are his most valuable assets.

#3 Mei

Mei is the Fifth Mizukage (leader of the Village in the Mist).

She’s not particularly old or young for a kage, and in many respects, she’s in the middle of the pack.

What separates Mei from the others is her unparalleled control of different chakra natures.

Most people have an affinity for one nature, and elite ninjas can then develop proficiency with one or two more natures.

It’s kind of like being right-handed and then learning to do some things with your left hand.

Mei can use all of the natures, and she’s a full master of water, fire, earth, and lightning.

Because of this, she can use chakra nature combinations that no one else in the world can match, and they produce some powerful effects.

One of her strongest abilities is her lava release.

It creates an acidic mud that can burn through pretty much anything.

She also has the boil release which corrodes things rapidly.

Her boil release actually damages Susanoo, and that’s a big deal.

Susanoo is a special Uchiha technique that grants ultimate defense.

Maybe five things in the whole Naruto universe ever manage to damage one, and Mei’s boil release is among them.

#4 A

A is the Fourth Raikage (leader of the Village in the Clouds), and he is known as the fastest ninja alive.

Naruto eventually takes that title from him, but at the time of the summit, A is definitely the fastest ninja in the world.

His insane speed makes it so that very few characters throughout the series can fight with him at all.

He’s a powerhouse, and in terms of raw physical stats, he’s the most powerful kage at the summit.

A’s speciality is manipulating lighting, but he’s also proficient with earth and water styles.

His lightning release mode encases him with lighting, making him stronger, faster, and more durable.

It’s an insane steroid, and there are very few ninjas who could survive an encounter with A’s lightning mode.

A also has special abilities that allow him to electrocute and/or paralyze opponents.

#5 Danzo

Last up is Danzo.

Technically, he is not a kage.

Instead, he temporarily fills the post of Hokage while Tsunade is incapacitated from her encounter with Pain.

Danzo is the leader of Konoha’s special black ops unit known as “Root.”

He’s an old ninja who rivaled the Third Hokage for the post, and he is arguably the most Machiavellian character from the Leaf Village.

Danzo is extremely smart in battle and experience, probably second only to Onoki at the summit.

Danzo is a genjutsu (illusion) specialist, arguably the best to ever do it who isn’t an Uchiha.

He also has some body modifications that make him a completely different beast altogether.

For starters, his arm is infused with Hashirama (the First Hokage) DNA.

With this DNA, he gets access to the wood technique, Hashirama’s natural healing ability, and general enhancements to all of his ninja techniques.

He also uses the Hashirama DNA arm to host a whole bunch of Sharingans.

These are eyes, literally taken from Uchiha ninjas, that are grafted all over the arm.

With this, he has full access to the regular Sharingan abilities.

It’s a bigger boost than you might think.

Among those Sharingans that Danzo has grafted into his body is a very special one known as Shisui’s eye.

This eye has a unique power that casts illusions so powerful that they can literally rewrite a person’s brain.

You can turn a die-hard enemy into a lifelong ally with this ability.

It can only be used infrequently (the exact time scale is a little contradictory, ranging from hours to a decade), but it’s arguably the most powerful technique in all of Naruto, and Danzo can use it.

On top of all of that, the Sharingas give Danzo access to Izanagi.

This is a special forbidden technique that drains all of the chakra from a Sharingan.

As a result, it can turn an illusion into reality.

It can literally rewrite reality, but the technique can only change one thing.

As an example, Danzo is hit with a fatal blow in a fight.

He uses Izanagi to make it so that the blow never happened at all.

As a cost, Izanagi permanently closes a Sharingan eye so that it can never do anything again.

But, Danzo has roughly a dozen eyes implanted in him, so he can use the technique roughly a dozen times in combat.

It’s hard to impress upon you just how powerful this is.

Who Is the Strongest Kage in the Five Kage Summit, Ranked in Order? (5 Levels)

Ok. That was a lot of information, but you now know enough about each of the kage to understand who is the strongest.

It might not be perfectly clear from those descriptions, but I’ll lay them out in order below and explain why.

I’m going from strongest to weakest.

Onoki is the first on the list because he’s the strongest.

With that in mind, let’s get to iit.

#1 Onoki

Most people agree that Onoki is the strongest kage at the summit.

Some argue that in the war that follows, Tsunade is actually the strongest, and that’s fair.

The point is that she wasn’t at the summit.

In her absence, there’s really no question.

Onoki has the strongest techniques of any of the kage (Izanagi is an outlier that I’ll discuss in Danzo’s section).

He’s also the smartest and fastest thinker among them.

The big thing with Onoki is that it’s unlikely that any of the other kage could beat him one on one.

At the same time, he’s probably the most potent among them when fighting large groups.

Onoki is really a one-man army.

Well, to be fair, all of the kage are one-man armies, but Onoki fits that bill the best among them.

He has the power to eliminate anyone, the smarts to pull it off, and the experience to do it all while taking on minimum risk.

He’s the strongest.

#2 A

After Onoki, things are a little more arguable.

It depends on several factors, but in terms of raw fighting ability, A is probably number two.

His sheer speed and physical output are no joke, and the simple fact is that most ninjas would never be able to land a hit on him.

Among those who do, very few can actually damage him.

He’s that fast and durable.

Also, his destructive output isn’t far behind Onoki.

A is ridiculous in many ways.

He could probably beat the other kage in a fight, and outside of that, he’s arguably more of a one-man army than the others below him on this list.

To be clear, I’m suggesting that all by himself, A could fight against a larger, more capable army of ninjas than the other three.

#3 Danzo

I’m putting Danzo in third place, and this is where things get tricky.

The truth is that in a one-on-one fight, Danzo is actually the strongest kage at the summit, and that’s because of his Sharingans.

If he can use Shisui’s eye, then he instantly defeats any other kage.

It’s a completely unfair ability, and there is no counter to it, so that’s worth considering.

At the summit, as the story unfolded, Danzo used the eye on his way to meet with the others.

So, it wasn’t available when mayhem broke out during the summit.

Outside of Shisui’s eye, Izanagi is also insanely strong.

Danzo used it on repeat when he fought Sasuke at the summit.

Ultimately, Danzo lost the fight, but that’s not because he directly lost to Sasuke.

It’s because Obito was there to help, and Obito was actually more powerful of a ninja than any of the kage at the summit.

In a one-on-one fight, even without Shisui’s eye, Danzo would probably win because Izanagi is that powerful.

But, Izanagi and Shisui’s eye are both a lot less useful when fighting lots of opponents.

In such a scenario, Danzo is still extremely strong, but he’s probably the weakest of the kage in those terms.

So, I averaged it out and put him at third.

#4 Mei

Mei is coming in at fourth, largely because she’s super hard to place.

We never really see her lose a fight (except to Madara where all five of the kage lose together).

We also don’t really get to see her go all out.

Mei is always composed, and she seems to know just how insanely powerful her techniques are.

So, she doesn’t go gung ho and release the full extent of her power at any point.

Instead, she always has a measured response, and it’s always enough.

The thing that holds Mei back is that she is not quite as quick-witted as Onoki, and she’s clearly not as physically fast and strong as A.

She’s still insanely fast by ninja standards, but when we’re ranking the five kage, Mei’s minor disadvantages in these areas mean that she would likely lose a one-on-one fight to the other kage (except Gaara), and she would be more vulnerable fighting a large army compared to the others.

She’s not significantly weaker; it’s barely justifiable to put her this low.

And, this is a good time to make that point.

The five kage are supposed to be comparable in power.

They were written in a way that none are clearly superior in all respects.

Part of the point of the kage summit and the following war was to highlight how they’re all so much stronger together.

So, Mei comes in fourth, but she really is on par with the others.

#5 Gaara

Gaara is last on the list for a couple of reasons.

First, he loses to Deidara when he’s already the Kazekage.

Deidara is a powerful opponent, but it’s hard to argue that the other kage would have lost to him.

So, in a one-on-one fight, Gaara is probably the weakest of the five.

The others clearly have techniques that could overwhelm his sand, and it’s hard to say that his sand could stop any of the other kage.

The same holds true if Gaara had to fight an army.

He’s still definitely a one-man army and could take on many lesser ninjas.

But, none of his techniques quite live up to what we see from the other four.