One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!

Power-scaling is possibly the number one debated topic in the One Piece fandom. I’ve done a few articles about it, like the one that confirms Yonko > Admirals, but today I want to get into the discussion a little deeper.

After the events of chapter 1055 where Shanks sends Ryokugyu packing with his tail between his legs, fans were eager to reignite the power-scaling argument.

Of course, some believe that power-scaling isn’t that important, and while I agree it isn’t the ultimate basis for anything, it’s still crucial for a series like One Piece.

Oda’s world-building is too detailed for us to ignore the power structures that were established way back in the beginning.

We know the fleet admiral is stronger than any other admiral in the same way that a captain is the strongest member of the crew. The problem arises when we compare two distinctly separate categories.

Recent chapters have clarified that in general, a Yonko is stronger than an admiral, but what about commanders, especially Yonko first commanders?

1. Can a Yonko commander defeat an admiral?

A Yonko commander cannot beat an admiral. While there are exceptions like Benn Beckman and Silvers Rayleigh who can match up to them in strength, a Marine admiral will still be stronger than a Yonko commander.

Chapter 1053 makes it explicitly clear that Marine admirals are stronger than Yonko commanders but weaker than Yonkos themselves.

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Admiral | Source: Fandom

Ryokugyu aka Aramki aka Greenbull finally enters Wano just after Yonko Kaido has been defeated. He mentions that had Kaido still been around, there is no way Marine forces would have entered the country.

This also means that Yonko Kaido was the only thing stopping Ryokugyu from entering Wano. He wasn’t afraid of his commanders – the All-Stars: King the Conflagration, Queen the Plague, Jack the Drought.

He didn’t care about the Minks, the Scabbards/samurai, the other pirate crews, not even Luffy.

Another indirect testimony of the fact that Yonko > Admirals > Commanders is Doflamingo.

Former Warlord and King of Dressrosa, Doflamingo can be considered at least as strong as a Yonko commander.

On two separate occasions, Doflamingo admits that he is deeply afraid of Kaido and would never fight him. He did engage the admirals, although it was shown that he is weaker than them as well.

He is afraid when Fujitora brings down a meteorite and in Punk Hazard, tells Aokiji that he has no intention of fighting him.  

2. Are all admirals stronger than all Yonko commanders?

Not all admirals are stronger than all Yonko commanders. The strongest commanders can take on and even possibly defeat weaker admirals.

It’s important to understand that categories are not homogenous; you cannot assume all admirals and commanders are equal in power to others in their category, just how not all Yonkos, including ex-Yonkos, are equally strong. (Shanks>Blackbeard>Luffy>Buggy/Mihawk/Croc.)

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Shanks and Ryokugyu | Source: Fandom

While engaging in power-scaling discussions there are always exceptions to the rule.

One Piece comes with a neat hierarchy of ranks in each of its groups. For example, in the Marines, the order is: Fleet Admiral, the 3 Admirals, Vice Admirals, Rear Admirals, Commodore, Captain, Commander, Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant, Officer and so on.

Amongst the pirates, we have the Pirate King, then the 4 Emperors of the Sea or the Yonkos, and then other pirate crew captains.

But we also have individuals or groups that defy ranks or do not fall into any power order, but are as strong as or even stronger than those with titles that are considered insanely strong.

The best example is vice-admiral Monkey D. Garp, who refused the promotion to admiral multiple times. In his prime, Garp was stronger than Akainu, the fleet admiral; even now, Garp is stronger than the current 3 admirals, and could also very easily take on Luffy, who recently became a Yonko.

Speaking of recent Yonkos, Buggy is another great example of ranks not being the end-all be-all of strength.

Chapter 1058 showed us the true face of Buggy’s new pirate crew, proving that Crocodile and Mihawk, former Warlords and otherwise lone-wolves, are pretty much near-Yonko level whereas Buggy isn’t even close.

Since we’re already on the topic of Mihawk, who can technically be considered a Yonko commander let’s break in to our Yonko commander vs. admiral discussion.

3. Who is the strongest admiral?

The strongest admiral is Kizaru, current right-hand-man to the fleet admiral, Akainu.

Before him, it was Akainu, who was the right-hand-man to Sengoku.

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that the fleet admiral needs to be considered slightly apart from the other 3 admirals.

Sengoku was considered powerful even by the Pirate King – rightfully so, with his Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit and Conqueror’s Haki.

Even though the guy has retired, his position is filled by someone equally powerful – Sakazuki or Akainu has proven to be Yonko-level, post his hard-hitting battle with Whitebeard, the world’s strongest man.

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Akainu (prime), Sengoku (prime), Kizaru, Aokiji, Fujitora, Zephy, Ryokugyu | Source: Fandom

Apart from these two fleet admirals who are the closest to Yonko-tier, the rest of the admirals too are quite formidable, as we’ve seen in numerous battles like Marineford.

Here are the all the admirals based on strength:

  1. Akainu (prime)
  2. Sengoku (prime)
  3. Kizaru
  4. Aokiji
  5. Fujitora
  6. Zephyr
  7. Ryokugyu

The commander-in-chief aka the fleet admiral, is the Marine’s strongest force against a Yonko, while the 3 admirals are considered the Ultimate Assault Force to balance the power of the pirates.

Currently, the World Government’s answer to the Yonkos lies in the hands of Akainu, Kizaru, Fujitora, Ryokugyu.

Following in line with what I said earlier, Ryokugyu, being the current weakest admiral can likely be defeated by the strongest commanders.

4. Who is the strongest Yonko commander?

The strongest Yonko commander is Benn Beckman, the Red Hair Pirates’ first commander, and Shanks’s first mate. Considering non-active Yonko commanders, this also includes Gol D. Roger’s first commander, Silvers Rayleigh.

I’m very tempted to add Marco the Phoenix, but as I’ve said in an earlier article, Marco may be strong enough to stand up to an admiral – or even 3, but he cannot defeat them.

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Silvers Rayleigh, Benn Beckman, Oden, Marco, Mihawk, King, Katakuri, Zoro, Queen, Crocodile | Source: Fandom

The only reason he can even fight them is because of his Devil Fruit, which lets him heal instantaneously and infinitely regenerate.

All in all, here are the strongest commanders:

  1. Silvers Rayleigh
  2. Benn Beckman
  3. Oden
  4. Marco
  5. Mihawk
  6. King
  7. Katakuri
  8. Zoro
  9. Queen
  10. Crocodile

Now; how many of these would be able to defeat an admiral?

5. Which commanders are admiral-level?

Out of all the commanders alive, only Benn Beckman, Silvers Rayleigh, and Marco the Phoenix are considered admiral-level. However, while Beckman and Rayleigh could potentially defeat admirals like Ryokugyu or Fujitora, Marco can only hold them off.

I. Benn Beckman

I admit the trust we place on Beckman being powerful is simply based on hype; but we very well know how strong Shanks is, so there’s no way that his first commander isn’t the strongest we’ve seen.

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Benn Beckman | Source: Fandom

At the end of the Marinefoord arc, when the Red Hair Pirates arrive to end the war, Benn Beckman holds Kizaru at gunpoint, stopping him in his tracks. I hope this is a foreshadowing of a longer battle between the two.

II. Silvers Rayleigh

As for Rayleigh, we’ve seen him in action against Kizaru in Sabaody. If we consider Kizaru among the stronger admirals, and Rayleigh among the stronger commanders, the battle we saw between them makes full sense.

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Silvers Rayleigh | Source: IMDb

At the time, Rayleigh was already pretty old, while Kizaru was kind of in his prime. Yet, Rayliegh was able to fight him at par, even managing to injure him. This implies that had Rayleigh been in his prime, he could have beaten Kizaru. But of course, all he could do was hold him off and help the Straw Hats escape.

This also proves that since Rayleigh could fight Kizaru, he can surely beat the likes of Ryokugyu, who is definitely weaker than Kizaru from what we’ve seen in the recent manga chapters.

6. Is Ryokugyu weak? Can a commander defeat him?

Ryokugyu might be the weakest admiral but he sure isn’t weak.

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Ryokugyu | Source: Fandom

Ryokugyu, before bouncing from Wano after Shanks’s casual display of Conqueror’s Haki, sucks King and Queen dry with his Logia-type Mori Mori no Mi. Of course, both King and Queen had just been defeated by Zoro and Sanji respectively, but I still think they would have lost against the admiral.

A guy in my position can’t go around getting beat by pirate subordinates.


These kinds of dialogues hold a lot of weight in the manga and imply that had King and Queen been in good shape, they still would not have been able to beat Ryokugyu.

This is again proven when Ryokugyu says that Kaido had been the only thing stopping him from entering Wano.

I know a lot of people, including me, have been dissing Ryokugyu, but we must remember that we’ve hardly seen any of his powers.

Him running away from Shanks and admitting that the Marines stayed clear of Wano because of Kaido only proves what we already know: the admirals are weaker than the Yonkos.

This doesn’t change the fact that Ryokugyu would have been able to defeat any pirate commander, including King and Zoro.

Marco would have surely held Ryokugyu off, like he’s held off Kizaru, Aokiji, and even Akainu, but would unlikely be able to defeat him.

As for Mihawk, all we know that he’s the world’s greatest swordsman. He has a whopping bounty, higher than Luffy’s, so we know that the Government considers him a gigantic threat.

But at the same time, Mihawk doesn’t have any Conqueror’s Haki, nor does he have the power of any Devil Fruit.

Mihawk could defeat the strongest Yonko, i.e., Shanks, in a sword-fight, but when it comes to all-out battle, I’m not sure he could defeat an admiral. Although, like Marco, he would be able to hold them off.

7. Conclusion

As we’ve seen from the Marineford battle, not even 3 Yonko top commanders like are able to defeat the admirals.

One Piece: Admiral vs. Commander – Power-scaling Explained!
Yonko | Source: Fandom

Recent events in the manga further prove this point.

The admirals are superior in power as compared to the Yonko commanders, but top-tier commanders can go toe-to-toe with them.

8. About One Piece

One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997.

The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King, is Gol D. Roger. The final words he said at the execution tower were “My treasures? If you want it, I’ll let you have it. Look for it; I left all of it at that place.” These words sent many to the seas, chasing their dreams, headed toward the Grand Line, in search of One Piece. Thus began a new age!

Seeking to be the greatest pirate in the world, young Monkey D. Luffy also heads toward the Grand Line in search of One Piece. His diverse crew is joining him along the way, consisting of a swordsman, marksman, navigator, cook, doctor, archaeologist, and cyborg-shipwright, this will be one memorable adventure.


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