The Story of Naruto Uzumaki has been entertaining us fans for over a decade, with its manga coming out back in 1999 and subsequent anime adaptation in 2022. The anime featured a lot of character designs and plot twists in the series. Today we have gathered the ten best strategists in Naruto, and keep in mind that we are covering this topic from the start of Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, and Boruto: Naruto Next Generation. So let’s get started.
Writer Masashi Kishimoto’s ‘Naruto’ had taken the world by storm and currently has one of the biggest fans bases worldwide. Naruto, in the series, started his journey as an attention-craving shinobi (or ninja) who just wanted to be recognized and given an opportunity by his seniors to become the leader of his village.
The overall journey of Naruto had many complex things that ran the overall course of the story. Things like him having a Nine Tail Fox inside him makes him a big target for a criminal organization Akatsuki, who are in a hunt for these beasts. The character has gone through many hurdles just for two things in his life. One to bring back his rogue friend Sasuke and the second to become the Hokage of The Hidden Leaf Village. Throughout his journey, he went on to become the strongest shinobi and eventually attained both of his goals. While in the manga and anime, the character has come across many characters who have strategic attributes like non-other.
So Here Are The 10 Best Strategists In Naruto:
1. Itachi Uchiha
When it comes to a quick and decisive strategic attack, there are only a few Shinobis that can come close to Itachi. One of the final survivors of the Uchiha Clan, Itachi was considered as the best Ninjutsu and Genjustu user in the entire series. The character was unique for his unexpected traps and high IQ battle techniques that made him quite invincible.
Itachi achieved records during his time as the shinobi of the Hidden Leaf. He became the youngest to join the ranks of Anbu (secret forces) at the age of 13. He was one of the Shinobis who unlocked their sharingans at quite an early stage. The character never broke a sweat against any jutsu as he believed that every jutsu had a weakness. One of the examples of his clever strategies would be during the 4th great ninja war, where he stopped the Six Path techniques of Nagato rescuing Naruto and Killer bee.
Another moment of his clever strategy was to trap Kabuto in his Izanagi. The battle was to show his resolve to his brother that he was still the ninja of the Hidden Leaf and that he would protect the village no matter what.
2. Obito Uchiha
Making his way to the list is Obito Uchiha, not because he was the one who began the 4th Great War but for many other reasons as well. While the character started his journey as a goofball, Obito was actually quite smart and quick on his feet.
Even being at a young age, Obito had war experience and was able to take down two Jonin class adult Shinobis with Kakashi during the 3rd great War. The reason to call him the strategist in the series was because he was behind making the Akatsuki and making people still believe that Madara Uchiha was still alive. He was the one who initiated the project Tsuki No Me. While many believed that he was just a puppet following Madara’s views, the head had a backup plan. The event tramples the latter plan in the process.
Orochimaru was one of the biggest and first villains to be introduced in the Naruto series. Being a student of the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi, Orochimaru gained a reputation for himself to be called as the Legendary Sanin alongside Jiraya and Tsunade. As devious as he may be, Orochimaru had backup plans for his backup plans.
He was the mastermind behind the first assault on the Hidden Leaf, which cost the Third Hokage’s life. Even though he failed and got his hands sealed, Orochimaru still was one of the most feared villains in the series. He had bases and secret hideouts all over the place and had always kept a safety plan when a crisis arose. The man was so clever that he had found immortality in the name of his curse marks. He also managed to clear all of his wrongs by doing one right of siding with the Shinobis during the 4th great War.
4. Black Zetsu
Another Member of the Akatsuki, Black Zetsu, rightfully deserves his place as the ultimate strategist. His plan to resurrect Kaguya began right after The Sage of Six Paths Hagorormo sealed her on the moon.
Black Zetsu was the longest living entity in the whole series, who manipulated generations of Indra and Asura’s reincarnations. His cunning strategy to bring his mother back involved rewriting the stone tablet that warned Shinobis about the risks of Tsuki No Me, changing it to the only hope of the Uchiha clan to save the world. He also made Madara believe that he was the latter’s own creation, keeping him in the dark so that he could work on his plan.
5. Madara Uchiha
Uchiha Madara is one of the brightest and strongest characters to be known in the Naruto universe. The character planned his every move and even went on to unlock the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, which he gained after sacrificing his brother’s eye. Madara’s fierce battle against the First Hokage Hashirama was remembered for ages.
Even tho he lost his nine tails and was defeated in the battle, Madara managed to fake his death to escape Hashirama’s sight. He was the first man to unlock both the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan and Rinnegan after he absorbed some of Hashirama’s cells (the first person to unlock, of course, after Hagorormo himself).
He was able to make battle strategies on point and could also make use of the playing field. A glimpse of his fighting style could be seen in the war arc, where he massacred over 100 Shinobies at once.
6. Neji Hyuga
Neji was always considered to be a Genius. Since his childhood, Neji was born with a latent talent to analyze the situation before striking. He was always on point with his decisions and had a knack for being the right one.
His birth abilities consisting of the Byakugan gave him a widespread view of the entire scene, making it easy for him to make out where the opponent is and how does he need to be stricken. Considering the overall stats, Neji has only lost two times, both in the manga and anime. Namely against Naruto during the Chunin exams and against Obito while saving Naruto and Hinata, costing him his life.
7. Tobirama Senju
The smartest side of the Senju siblings, Tobirama, was the younger brother of the First Hokage, Hashirama Senju. He started his journey as the consultant and Wiseman for the Hokage, which clearly indicates that he was a man of strategy. He, later on, went to be crowned as the second Hokage, taking over Hashirama’s will of Fire. During this era, he earned himself the nickname of “Tactician,” which kind of gave out a hint that his battle tactics were at a different level.
8. Sasuke Uchiha
While we mentioned Itachi above in the list, we cannot forget the man who defeated him. Yes! it was his brother Sasuke Uchiha. While 70% of his life in the manga and anime, Sasuke had lived only for the sole purpose of killing his elder brother, he did show some of his slay strategies to accomplish a task or get out of harm’s way.
Well, his copying in the Chunin exams during his childhood with the Sharingan can also be considered as an example of him being strategic. One of his most brilliant strategies was during his battle with Itachi, where he prepared for his Jutsu Kirin using Itachi’s Amaterasu and his flames.
9. Shikaku Nara
If we are to talk strategies, then we cannot forget to add the legend in it, Shikaku Nara. Well, he was the advisor and planner for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Hokage and also led the Allied Shinobi Group in the 4th great Ninja War.
Shikaka was the smartest in the whole Shinobi world and was recognized by many. He could make game-changing decisions in seconds and bring home victory. One of the most remembered examples would be his final strategy to finish off the Ten-Tails along with Obit and Madara in the 4th ninja war. It is to consider that even though he knew a tail beast bomb from the Ten-Tails was coming his way, he did not waver and instead gave his final order to the team, which worked pretty great.
10. Shikamaru Nara
Well, if we talk about the father, we also have to consider his son as well. Nara Shikamaru is currently one of the smartest people in the Naruto Universe. He has a sharp battle mindset, and like his father, he too can make decisive strategies to turn the tide. Shikamaru took over his father’s position in the War after the Ten-Tails took out the Headquarters.
One of the most exciting battles by Shikamaru where fans could see his true strategic sides would be his fight against Hidan and Kakuzu. He was able to trick Hidan into killing his partner Kakuzu once. As we all know, Hidan was immortal, Shikamaru cleverly made it so that Hidan was buried alive and would not be able to come out.