Ahh, the age old question: who is the strongest? This is a question that has sparked debates between fandoms since all of these fantastical characters came into existence. Fans pore over the capabilities of each character, cite instances from specific battles, and argue how the characters match-up in order to find out who’s the strongest. There’s in-fighting on all media to add fuel to these debates from Marvel vs. DC events, Batman v. Superman, Captain America: Civil War, even Daredevil season two when Daredevil and Punisher had their war. People always want to know who is the most powerful character is and they will fight to the death for their choice.
The Arrowverse has joined this trend with an ongoing rivalry between Green Arrow and The Flash with each arguing about who had beaten the other the most times. However, other than a scene with Captain Cold freezing Deathbolt to death, there hasn’t been much of an equivalent for the villains of the series. With the growth of this television universe and more and more characters being added every season, there’s a need for an order for these characters. To alleviate this desire and add fuel to your debates, here’s Every Arrowverse Villain Ranked From Weakest To Strongest.
18 VANDAL SAVAGE
The Vandal Savage that we saw in the Arrow/Flash crossover was not the Vandal Savage we got during Legends of Tomorrow. Season one of the time travel show had its share of problems, but its biggest one was easily Vandal Savage. Casper Crump did ok as the immortal villain, but his character posed no real threat physical threat to the Legends.
He gained influence over the hundreds of years he was alive, but no fighting experience.
He was bested handily on separate occasions by Rip Hunter, the Hawks, Sara, and Heatwave. Rip and Rory aren’t even known for their fighting prowess, so the fact that they defeated him in a straight up fight means that he can’t be very skilled. He never really used throwing knives outside of his introduction and the Staff of Horus is now disintegrated. Savage has made a career of getting beat up.
Vigilante doesn’t have many victories to his name. He’s threatening enough for Team Arrow to take him seriously, but has lost on numerous occasions to Green Arrow, Prometheus, and even to Mr. Terrific. He does have an advanced healing factor, but it has limits as shown by the fact that he can’t heal the scar over his eye. And despite his ability to heal, he’s shown that he can be defeated to the point that he has to flee from a battle.
Despite his losses, Vigilante has proven that he’s a dangerous combatant and has nearly killed members of Team Arrow before. He almost killed Mr. Terrific and Artemis and he’s defeated Diggle and Wild Dog. However, he’s unable to hold his own against tougher opponents.
16 CAPTAIN COLD
Leonard Snart has towed the line between good and bad over his entire existence on the Arrowverse. However, a version of him did join the Legion of Doom who were the big bads of Legends of Tomorrow season two, so we’re counting him. He was a thorn in the Flash’s side during all of season one and most of season two. His cunning makes him difficult to track, but his real power comes from his cold gun.
The cold gun is an extremely powerful piece of technology that Snart has even customized to fit his own needs.
It’s shown that when combined with Rory’s heat gun, it is powerful enough to actually overcome Nora Dahrk’s magic which is on par with that of her father’s. It can freeze anything in an instant, doesn’t seem to need recharging.
15 MALCOLM MERLYN
There’s something to be said about craftiness, a trait Malcolm Merlyn has in spades. Merlyn was introduced in season one of Arrow as the Dark Archer, one of Green Arrow’s most bitter enemies in the comics. He lived up to this title in the first season, defeating Oliver on numerous occasions and even managing to level the slums of Starling City despite Oliver’s best efforts to stop him. However, that was easily his peak.
Since his fantastic season one performance, he’s proven to be more tricky than powerful. He’s managed to elude death numerous times and even managed to become the new Ra’s al Ghul. But when it comes to fighting, he’s no longer the unbeatable threat he once was. Merlyn is still deadly due to his League of Assassins training, but he’s been defeated handily by Oliver and Sara more than once since season one of Arrow.
Prometheus, or Adrian Chase, was the fantastic main villain of Arrow's fifth season. The scorned son of one of Green Arrow’s earlier victims, Chase trained under Talia al Ghul and deduced everything he needed to in order to terrorize Oliver. It was very tough to differentiate between Prometheus and Malcolm Merlyn. We gave Chase the nod due to two factors: The first was Chase’s ability to truly torture Oliver on a psychological level and stay ahead of him every step of the way.
Even in his death, Chase got exactly what he wanted.
The second is how he fared in his battles with Oliver. The last time Malcolm Merlyn fought Ollie was in season three, a duel which Oliver won with seemingly minimal effort. Prometheus, on the other hand, fought on par with Oliver throughout season five. In every encounter, it seemed like Prometheus could come out on top.
Deathstroke may be the reason that season two of Arrow was considered the show’s best. Slade Wilson was a force of nature in that season with a ferocity that has not been matched since. Even without the performance-enhancing mirakuru, Slade is heavily armored, an expert martial artist and master marksman and swordsman.
However, he ranks so high because of his incredible durability in conjunction with his various skills. In season two, the mirakuru cure was shown to knock out anybody with the serum in their system. However, Slade not only managed to stay conscious after being hit with the cure, but he fought Oliver to a standstill while doing so. On Lian Yu, he also fought on par with Thea and Oliver simultaneously without his armor. He mowed down Talia’s acolytes and decimated over a dozen Jackals. He’s a terminator if there ever was one.
12 RA’S AL GHUL
The main villain of season three, Ra’s al Ghul was the leader of the League of Assassins. Long-lived and extremely skilled, Ra’s came the closest anyone has ever come to killing Oliver Queen when he challenged him to a duel. Ra’s has had centuries of combat experience. Oliver had repeatedly shown himself to be one of the premiere martial artists in the world, yet Ra’s defeated him without breaking a sweat (to be fair, they were on a freezing mountain).
Even after Oliver trained under him and gained clarity about what he was fighting for, he still was outclassed by Ra’s.
It’s implied that Ra’s wanted Oliver to kill him so that he’d take his place as the leader of the League, therefore, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he allowed Oliver to kill him. If you think about it, Ra’s did have Oliver on the ropes.
11 BLACK SIREN
This is the Black Canary people thought they were going to get eventually when Laurel Lance was brought onto the show...minus the evil tendencies. Black Siren is actually Laurel’s Earth 2 metahuman doppelganger who has a complicated moral compass. She’s a master martial artist, able to defeat Dinah Drake multiple times and hold her own against John Diggle, both of whom are accomplished fighters.
Black Siren may be a talented martial artist, but its her metahuman ability that puts her this high on the list. Her Canary Cry is extremely potent. She pressed Barry after he was freed from the Speed Force the first time and even made his ears bleed; he had to be saved by a powerless Wally. Her Canary Cry was powerful enough to level buildings when she pushed herself, meaning it’d be easy enough for her to disintegrate a human.
10 THE THINKER
You may be thinking that a wheelchair-bound man whose metahuman power is super intelligence and can’t be much of a threat in a fight -- but you’d be wrong. The Thinker has superhuman intelligence, meaning he’s capable of thinking in ways we can’t even fathom. Not only does this mean he can account for nearly every scenario that befalls him, but he also can create incredible technology.
His chair was powerful was enough to battle The Flash, one of the most powerful metahumans on earth.
It was capable of flying, projecting energy, teleporting, and that’s all that we know of. We’ve also seen him create a shield that Barry couldn’t phase out of. To put this into perspective Barry broke out of the anti-meta containment cells using only his speed. Clifford DeVoe has the tech to fight and the intelligence to use it right.
9 NORA DARHK
The Darhk family’s penchant for magic makes them extremely powerful foes who are able to take on the Legends by themselves. Nora is the time-traveling daughter of Damien Darhk who chose to follow in her father’s footsteps and be as deliciously evil as he is. She revived her father in Legends of Tomorrow season three and seems to be nearly as powerful as her father when it comes to magic.
She inherited the Dark Magic that her father makes use of but doesn’t seem to need the totem like Damien did in Arrow season four. She’s been shown to throw the Legends around like ragdolls and control the blasts of energy from both Ray’s A.T.O.M suit and Heatwave’s Heat Gun. Plus, she can drain life forces with just a touch. An instant kill move of that caliber easily vaults you up this list.
8 DAMIEN DARHK
Damien Darhk may not have been as menacing as Deathstroke, but defeating Darhk did seem to be a physically insurmountable task throughout Arrow season four. Every time team Arrow opposed him, he would defeat them with little effort. Darhk has the same magic as his daughter but to a greater degree. He’s able to throw people with telekinesis without even being in the same room as them, ala Darth Vader.
In addition, he’s able to drain one’s life force with a touch, teleport, and take bullets and arrows like it’s nothing.
If that wasn’t enough, Darhk was also in line to be Ra’s al Ghul and only narrowly lost out to the man who would go on to become the Demon’s Head. He’s an expert in armed and unarmed combat and proved to be more than a match for Oliver and Sara in that department.
It’s amazing that the showrunners behind the Arrowverse managed to adapt this to live-action. Grodd is an intelligent, massive, psychic gorilla who is capable of telepathy and mind control. His meta...gorilla power allows him to control any human’s mind even from a considerable distance. He can also use his psychic powers to attack people by flooding their minds with negative emotions. These psychic attacks have been potent enough to incapacitate Barry.
On top of his psychic powers, he’s a gorilla who already has incredible strength and endurance that seems to have been enhanced by the particle accelerator explosion. He stopped a supersonic punch from the Flash with one hand and when he was hit by a train, it only seemed to piss him off. Grodd is so powerful that the only way team Flash has been able to stop him is by sending him away.
6 QUEEN RHEA
The devious queen of the Daamite people, Rhea was the main villain of Supergirl season two. She was the mother of Mon-El, Kara’s boyfriend at the time, and if that wasn’t scary enough, she also decided to use Earth as a new home after their planet of Daxam suffered critical damage from Krypton’s explosion.
She and her army were only stopped when lead, Daxamites’ weakness, was released into the atmosphere to drive the invasion back.
Rhea proved to be quite the challenge for Kara. As a Daxamite, she possessed superhuman strength, speed, and durability to the point that she could trade blows with Supergirl on nearly equal footing. In addition to her physical attributes, Rhea was a talented enough fighter to engage Kara in a fight and was cunning enough to use her Kryptonite-infused blood against her as well.
The inhuman being that broke The Flash’s back obviously belongs high up on this list. Speedsters are actually some of the most powerful characters in the Arrowverse and Hunter Zolomon is no exception. His speed and power is so incredible that he essentially took over Earth Two and had the metahuman population under his thumb because they were all terrified of him.
Zoom can throw lightning, phase through foes, open breaches to other earths, and create time remnants which are essentially clones of himself. He is fast enough that he can attack anyone except for other speedsters without them noticing. His speed also allows him to greatly increase his striking power and the amount of strikes he can throw. But he doesn’t even need to do any of that since phasing through someone can shred their internal organs and kill them on the spot.
Non has long been a Superman villain but in the Arrowverse, he’s been adapted to be the first supervillain that Supergirl faced. In Supergirl, Non is the husband of Astra, Kara’s aunt. The two were imprisoned within Fort Rozz which followed Kara’s pod out of the Phantom Zone and crashed on Earth. The two then escaped with the intention of ruling the planet.
Non is Kryptonian and, as such, has all the powers that Supergirl possesses.
This means he has super strength, super speed, flight, invulnerability, freeze breath, and heat vision (which he was quite fond of). In addition to this, Non was a lieutenant in the Kryptonian army before his banishment, meaning that he is experienced in Kryptonian martial arts and strategy. This was shown when he effortlessly defeated Kara in their first encounter. Non has shown that he’s a powerful opponent and pushed Supergirl to her limit.
The “god of motion”, Savitar, is a powerful combatant who seemed predestined to win when he took on team Flash during season three. He’s Barry’s embittered time remnant from the near future who traveled throughout time to gain power, gather acolytes, and become a god. While he may not actually be the god of motion, he was still incredibly fast. Savitar was faster than Barry at the end of season three of The Flash. He was powerful enough to take on the combined might of Barry, Wally West, and Jay Garrick.
Savitar’s speed isn’t his only boon. He wears an advanced suit of armor that is massive, strong, and largely invulnerable. It can move without being piloted, possesses hidden blades, and can resist Killer Frost’s freezing powers. This combined with all of the abilities that a speedster of his caliber possesses makes him a serious threat.
2 THE REVERSE-FLASH
Thawne doesn’t have the nihilistic instinct or advanced suit of armor that the other speedsters on this list have. What he does have is far more powerful: intelligence. Thawne is a genius speedster from the 22nd century and the arch enemy to the Flash. He’s considered a genius in the 222nd century, meaning that his intelligence far exceeds anything in the 21st century that’s not superhuman. He’s invented numerous devices to enhance his speed, the quantum splicer that keeps Firestorm together, a working Time Vault, and his own version of the Flash ring.
He isn’t just a genius, though. Thawne is incredibly fast.
He fought on par with the Flash during the "Crisis on Earth X" crossover. At this point, Barry is able to run faster than anything team Flash has ever seen before. Giving this version of Barry a run for his money means that Thawne is incredibly powerful.
Reign is the alter ego of Samantha Arias. She’s a genetically enhanced Kryptonian sleeper agent who was designed to mercilessly dispense justice as a Worldkiller. She was unaware of this alternate identity until recently when her powers manifested. Reign is Kryptonian which automatically vaults her into the top five on this list. Kryptonians in all mediums are incredibly powerful beings fueled by sunlight. However, Reign is at the peak of all Kryptonians we’ve seen.
She beat Supergirl into a coma after a pitched battle in Supergirl’s midseason finale. This is the same Supergirl who was able to defeat an enraged Superman at the end of season two. Reign possesses incredible strength, speed, the ability to fly, heat vision, and cold breath. But her strength and fighting prowess seems to exceed that of Supergirl’s. And Supergirl hasn’t lost very many times.