The Yonko are the four most notorious and most powerful pirate captains in the world, but are neither allies nor enemies of one another, preferring 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.
In the decisive Battle of Marineford, Whitebeard, one of the Yonko, met his end towards the climax of the Whitebeard War. Blackbeard, his killer, subsequently usurped his position. Shanks, another member of the Yonko, arbitrated a ceasefire to end the aforementioned war.
Abilities and PowersEdit
As an entity, the Yonko are one of the Three Great Powers of the world, with the others being the Shichibukai and the Marines. 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. Whitebeard, the first Yonko to display his full fighting prowess, was even in his old age (72) considered to be the Strongest Man in the World, possessed the powers of the Gura Gura no Mi, the Devil Fruit considered to be the strongest within that of the Paramecia class, and had mastery of all three types of Haki. 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 killed the former with the aid of his crew, then gained the powers of Whitebeard's fruit through unknown means, thus becoming the first known individual to have acquired multiple Devil Fruit abilities; over the course of the following year, with the aid of his newfound powers, he would usurp Whitebeard's former position as a Yonko.
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. Whitebeard's crew amounted to over 1600 men and he also had 43 subordinate New World pirate crews to aid him in his efforts to rescue Ace, each headed by an infamous pirate captain. Some of these subordinate captains were very powerful in their own right, as seen with Little Oars Jr.'s impact as a key player for the Whitebeard Pirates during the Battle of Marineford.
Due to the sheer size of their crews, most of the Yonko utilize several elite commanders to lead their forces; Whitebeard originally had sixteen division commanders (each leading 100 men), Kaido has his three Disasters, Big Mom has her Three Sweet Commanders (originally Four), and Blackbeard, who originally only had a small crew of under ten men prior to his becoming a Yonko and expanding his crew size drastically, later has it subdivided through his Ten Titanic Captains, some of whom were members of his original crew. 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. Due to their exposure and feats as executive officers for the Yonko, the commanders are regarded as a huge threat by the Marines, second only to their Yonko captains. Thus far, the three highest known active bounties all belong to Yonko commanders (Cracker and Smoothie of the Big Mom Pirates at 860,000,000 and 932,000,000 respectively, and Jack of the Beasts Pirates at 1,000,000,000) while interestingly, none of the Yonko themselves have had their bounties revealed.
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 Fishman Island to be under his control, he immediately ended all pirate attacks on the island as well as its slave trade.
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.
It is only with the combined efforts of the Marines and the Shichibukai, as well as the distrust amongst them, 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, immediately brought an end to hostilities, showing the power and influence they have without even needing to engage in combat.
The Yonko themselves are not allied together as a coalition compared to the Shichibukai, and follow their separate agendas. Nevertheless, most of the Yonko still seem to have the intention of becoming the Pirate King and finding One Piece, with former Yonko Whitebeard being an exception. The possibility of two or more of the Yonko forming an alliance was enough of a threat to cause the World Government to panic, 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.
They can motivate others to partake in a life of piracy; Shanks personally inspired Luffy, and the death of Whitebeard inspired many pirates to travel to the Grand Line.
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 ally 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. Big Mom intends to increase her crew's power by forming an alliance with the legendary Germa 66 and gain access to their advanced technology.
Because of their immense power, it is necessary for factions aiming to oppose them to first strike an alliance with other factions in order to bring the Yonko down. However, even with multiple alliances amongst powerful pirates, 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 only 30%.
Whitebeard was active on the seas during Gol D. Roger's voyage across the Grand Line; he was said to be one of the few people who could rival Roger, as well as the man closest to One Piece after Roger's death. However, he had no intention of finding the treasure.
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.
All of the Yonko seem to have strong fleets, including huge ships and elite crewmen. At some point, they all traveled to the New World where they are currently locked in a stalemate, unable to progress any further into the Grand Line. This is a product of the combined efforts of the Marines and the Shichibukai, as well as the presence of the other Yonko. A particular reason for their inability to reach Raftel is the fact that one needs all four Road Poneglyphs to determine its location; one is possessed by Kaido, one possessed by Big Mom, one is located on Zou, guarded by the Mink Tribe and the last one is in an unknown location.
The World Government allowed the world powers to stay as they were for a long period of time. With the Yonko stuck in a deadlock, the world remained stable. However, after the defeat of Crocodile by the Straw Hat Pirates, the World Government was alarmed to learn of two of the Yonko, Shanks and Whitebeard, arranging to meet each other.
Post-Enies Lobby ArcEdit
On top of the destruction of Enies Lobby, the Marines experienced another defeat in the New World when a blockade failed to prevent Shanks and Whitebeard from making contact. Fearing the two crews might form an alliance, the World Government anxiously waited to know the outcome.
During the meeting, Shanks's presence upon boarding Whitedbeard's ship caused a majority of the crew to collapse. Shanks shared sake from his hometown with Whitebeard as a token of friendship while at the same time issuing a grave warning.
Shanks told Whitebeard that his days as the strongest pirate were coming to an end, warning him of the new era that was to come. With Blackbeard making his move toward prominence, he would depose Whitebeard from his throne. Shanks also tried to convince Whitebeard to call the 2nd Division Commander, Portgas D. Ace, back from his pursuit of Blackbeard. Whitebeard stubbornly refused Shanks's warning, and the two clashed. The sky seemingly split in half when their weapons collided, much to the horror of the members of both crews.
Summit War SagaEdit
Impel Down ArcEdit
In an attempt to rescue Portgas D. 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.
According to Eustass Kid, Whitebeard's death and resulting vacancy among the Yonko caused the balance of the Three Great Powers to collapse, leading to chaos around the world. Islands that were once under Whitebeard's protection, such as Foodvalten, came under attack by pirates.
During the TimeskipEdit
Teach also usurped Whitebeard's position as the fourth Yonko as the Gorosei 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".
Fishman Island ArcEdit
When the candy factory was demolished during the uprising of the New Fishman Pirates and Flying Pirates, Fishman 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 will claim Fishman Island as his protectorate by defeating Big Mom, shifting her fury from the island to himself.
Teach was heard talking with Jesus Burgess via Den Den Mushi, with Burgess stating that Kuzan could not be trusted. Hearing that Luffy had arrived, Blackbeard greeted the young pirate and expressed surprise that he was also a combatant in the Corrida Colosseum tournament for the Mera Mera no Mi. Knowing why Luffy entered the tournament, Teach assured him that Burgess would be the combatant to obtain the fruit and that it would be the same as having Ace join his crew, since Ace had rejected his previous offer. Luffy then angrily stated that he would never allow him to steal Ace's power.
Kaido went up to Ballon Terminal, where he encountered Urouge, who learned of his intention to commit suicide and let him proceed. After jumping 10,000 meters below on the Kid Pirates' base, he came out of the hole unharmed and faced the Supernovas Eustass Kid, Scratchmen Apoo, and Basil Hawkins. He yelled for Doflamingo to make preparations for battle and promised to start a massive war since he became bored with the world. Kaido defeated Kid during their confrontation and made an alliance with Apoo; the fate of Hawkins and the rest of the three crews remains unknown.
Big Mom cooperated with the leader of the Vinsmoke Family 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.
Totto Land ArcEdit
Kaido became very unhappy upon finding out about Doflamingo's defeat and Jack's failure to rescue him, drowning his sorrows in alcohol as he grieved that he could no longer get SMILEs to make more Gifters and create a crew entirely composed of Devil Fruit users. His subordinates wondered what they should do about Monkey D. Luffy and Trafalgar Law, the ones who had defeated Doflamingo, but Kaido entered a drunken rage upon hearing their concern, pointing to the defeated Kid to show the vast power disparity between him and the Supernovas.
According to a newspaper report, Blackbeard led an attack on 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.
Three days before the tea party, Big Mom oversaw the wedding preparations. As she sang and danced with her underlings, she looked forward to the wedding and stated that she heard of Luffy's presence in her territory.
Later, Big Mom developed an intense craving for croquembouche and went on a rampage through Sweet City, eating everything in her path and even killing her son when he got in the way. She was then stopped by Jinbe, who fed her some croquembouche tourists. Jinbe requested to leave Big Mom's crew, and Big Mom seemingly agreed, but stated that he had to lose something in return.
|Shanks||Charlotte Linlin||Kaido||Marshall D. Teach|
|Edward Newgate †|
- †: 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.
- It is said that once Elizabello II has gathered enough strength to the point where his punch can knock down even a Yonko.
- Marshall D. Teach is the only known person to serve as both a Shichibukai and later a Yonko.
- All the Yonko's crews are named after their respective captain's epithet.
- All of the the Eleven Supernovas are known to be involved with at least one Yonko:
- Monkey D. Luffy looks up to Shanks as a role model and personal hero, allied himself with the Whitebeard Pirates in the Battle of Marineford, and wishes to dethrone Kaido and Big Mom. He despises Blackbeard for causing the conflict that led to his brother Portgas D. Ace's death and attacking Baltigo, the home of his other brother Sabo and father Monkey D. Dragon.
- Roronoa Zoro, as a member of Luffy's crew, is part of the alliance to defeat Kaido, and most likely receives an amount of anger from the latter and Big Mom, due to Luffy's behavior on Fishman Island and Dressrosa. He also considers Blackbeard an enemy.
- Trafalgar Law made an alliance with the Straw Hat Pirates specifically to take down Kaido, though as a pretext toward his real motive of eliminating Donquixote Doflamingo, hoping to anger Kaido into killing Doflamingo. However, after the events on Dressrosa he now aims to take down Kaido with the rest of the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance. He might also be on Big Mom's radar, as when she asked Caesar why he wasn't able to complete his experiments despite her orders, he accuses Luffy and Law to have interfered.
- Eustass Kid invaded Big Mom's territory during the timeskip and later attacked two of her crew's ships. He formed an alliance with Scratchmen Apoo and Basil Hawkins in an attempt to dethrone Shanks. After unknown circumstances involving Kaido after his failed suicide attempt, Kid seemingly fought Kaido, but was badly defeated and imprisoned. Kid was later mentioned by Kaido when the Yonko jokingly told him to pass a message along to Luffy and Law that they should run for their lives after interfering with his plans.
- Killer is part of Kid's crew and took part in his actions against Big Mom, and in the Kid-On Air-Hawkins alliance. After Kid was defeated by Kaido and Apoo having joined Kaido's forces, his current affiliation is unknown.
- Scratchmen Apoo invaded Big Mom's territory during the timeskip, and later joined Kid's alliance in an attempt to dethrone Shanks, and was approached by Kaido after a failed suicide attempt. After unknown circumstances, Scratchmen Apoo became a subordinate of Kaido.
- Basil Hawkins joined Kid's alliance in an attempt to dethrone Shanks, and was approached by Kaido after a failed suicide attempt. After Kid's defeat and Apoo having joined Kaido's forces, his current affiliation is unknown.
- Jewelry Bonney was seen crying after Whitebeard's death, and was later captured by Blackbeard, though managed to escape custody of the Marines after being captured by Akainu.
- Capone Bege is currently a subordinate and son in-law of Big Mom after he invaded her territory during the timeskip. He married her daughter, Charlotte Chiffon.
- X Drake is currently a subordinate of Kaido.
- Urouge invaded Big Mom's territory during the timeskip and defeated one of her Four Sweet Commanders, angering her. He was later shown talking to Kaido about his motives for suicide.
- Out of all the total Yonko, Shanks is the only one to have human-like body size and proportions.
- Three of the Yonko have been shown to be habitual alcohol drinkers: Shanks, Kaido, and the late Edward Newgate. The other two Yonko are shown to be very gluttonous.
- Kaido is the only one of the Yonko who has not been seen to have a personal flagship.
- Both Kaido and Linlin shared some similarities with one another
- Both dreamed of creating something through the power of science, through dealing with the scientist Caesar Clown (Kaido dreamed of creating a crew composed entirely of Zoan-type Devil Fruit users, via Caesar's Artificial Devil Fruits; Linlin dreamed of dining with her diverse family at eye-level, via Caesar's falsely promised Gigantification-drugs).
- Both never made a proper appearance until the second half of the series.
- Shanks is the only Yonko who doesn't have/had any underling from the Worst Generation or even being part of one.
- Linlin claimed that had she managed to marry off her daughter Lola with a certain person to secure a political alliance, she would have gained tremendous power that would have allowed her to defeat the other three Yonko and become the next Pirate King; it was Lola's escape that frustrates Linlin of this setback.
- Kaido is the only Yonko who is addressed by name by the people who do not know him, instead of his epithet.
- Three of the Yonko are known to have dealt with Gol D. Roger in their past: Shanks, Charlotte Linlin, and the late Edward Newgate.