Kohei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia has taken the anime and superhero worlds by storm, quickly becoming one of the most popular series of all time. Part of the series' draw is its unique approach to the superhero genre, both in the way of storytelling and in the characters' superpowers, which are known as Quirks. The powers in My Hero Academia are unique because they're, in a word, balanced; they have drawbacks, stats, weaknesses and/or side effects on the users' bodies. This is to say that even powerful Quirks, like Shoto Todoroki's Half-Cold Half-Hot abilities, have limitations and issues that prevent them from being all-powerful. So, the question is, with how balanced and limited the powers of My Hero Academia, just which Quirks are the strongest?
For this list, we are going to be exploring Quirks that have only debuted in the anime, so manga characters and their powers that have yet to be adapted into the anime are out. We are also going to be combining similar quirks, like Kirishima's Hardening and Tetsutetsu's Steel, into one entry, since they are too close in power to be ranked separately. As for how we're ranking the Quirks, we will be taking into consideration the skills and experience of their user for most entries, as well as the applications (both those shown in the anime and theoretical applications) of their power. Additionally, our ranking will also be based on one rank beating the previous in some way, shape or form. With all that set, let's see which Quirk is the most Plus Ultra of them all!
Starting us off is one of the best examples of Horikoshi's approach to superpowers, Tenya Iida's Engine. A Quirk that runs in the Iida family, Engine is similar to having super speed, but instead of it being like The Flash's powers, Tenya's speed comes from organic engines in his legs.
With these engines, Tenya is able to run at varying speeds and for different lengths of time depending on what gear he uses. It's a powerful Quirk, but like real engines, his legs can stall or burn out for a time, which, along with his lack of offensive or even defensive attacks (beyond running and dodging) is why Tenya's Quirk ranks at the bottom of our list.
The Quirk of Gran Torinio, the mentor of All Might's former teacher, is sort of like an upgraded version of Iida's power. Similar to Iida's Engine, Gran Torino also has built-in, organic holes that help to propel him, though his are in his feet and shoot air with the same force of a jet engine.
Gran Torino uses this power to ricochet off of walls and gain momentum in order to attack, which puts it miles ahead of Tenya's offense-less leg engines. However, as strong as Jet is, and as good as Gran Torino is with it, it takes time to build the momentum needed to take on tougher opponents, which, among other drawbacks, lowers the Quirk's ranking a bit.
This ranking might seem a bit low for one of the series' main villains and his deadly Quirk, but there's a reason that Shigaraki's Quirk is so far down on our list. First off, Shigaraki doesn't have all that much control over it, which immediately drops its ranking quite a bit, since skills and experience are a factor.
Shigaraki is so clumsy in his control that anything he touches with all five fingers will start to decay, which, while powerful (especially since it will spread if the decay is not amputated), is a pretty easy thing to block if you're aware of how the Quirk works. Additionally, a ranged attack is all you'd need to take him out in a one-on-one fight.
17 SUGAR RUSH
Though Rikido Sato doesn't really get much screen or story time in My Hero Academia, his Quirk should definitely get more attention, since it's one of the stronger abilities in Class 1-A. Known as "Sugar Rush," Sato's power allows him to multiply his strength five-fold for three minutes by ingesting 10 grams of sugar.
Though five-times strength isn't quite up there with the likes of other power-type Quirks like All Might's, it's still a significant increase that can also be stockpiled with more sugar. However, the more sugar Sato ingests and the more his power increases, the lower his brain functions are and the more tired he will get, two downsides that keep Sugar Rush in the bottom five.
16 HARDENING & STEEL
An ongoing joke in My Hero Academia is that Class 1-A's Kirishima and Class 1-B's Tetsutetsu are almost identical in terms of Quirks, personalities and hero costumes. Their Quirks, Hardening and Steel, are so similar that their sports festival match was a tie and had to be settled with arm-wrestling.
Steel and Hardening, which turn the user's skins into much harder materials, are so similar that we're counting them as one Quirk. As for how they stand in the ranking, they are still in the bottom five, if only because of how inexperienced both their users are. Being able to protect yourself from damage is a great power, but both Kirishima and Tetsutetsu need to work on their execution and fighting skills.
15 FIBER MASTER
We wanted to rank this one a bit higher, since the ability to control the fibers of clothes is a very applicable, and thus a very powerful Quirk, but when pitted against other, more destructive Quirks, it doesn't make it too far past the bottom five. That said, Best Jeanist's Fiber Master Quirk is still incredibly powerful.
The ability to control the fibers of most clothing makes Best Jeanist the master of anyone wearing clothes, since he can use his Quirk to bind people and even control them like puppets if he wanted to. Fiber Master is a great Quirk, but it might not stack up against, say, fire-based Quirks, since they can easily burn the fibers he controls.
14 DARK SHADOW
Another Quirk that could beat Fiber Master is Dark Shadow, a sentient shadow creature that Tokoyami is capable of controlling for attacking and defending. Even if his clothes were binding him, Tokoyami's Dark Shadow would be able to move freely and attack on his command without fail.
The reason that Dark Shadow makes it past the bottom five is also the reason it's not in the top 10. His power gets stronger the less light there is, but this comes at the cost of Tokoyami's control over him, and he can turn into a massive shadow demon in pure darkness. Additionally, enough light can dwindle Dark Shadow into almost nothing, which is why it comes in second to Quirks like the next entry.
One of the coolest and most powerful Quirks in My Hero Academia is that of Katsuki Bakugou's Explosion. Explosion is exactly what it sounds like: the ability to create explosions, which Bakugou is able to do through a nitroglycerin-like substance he sweats from his hands.
Explosion has a lot of applications beyond destruction and Bakugou is incredibly adept at using his power to cover great distances, attack, defend and, when concentrated, drill through dense materials. Bakugou has taken on a number of strong enemies with Explosion and was able to beat the power of Dark Shadow using the bright flashes of his Quirk, another strong application of his powers. There's no doubting Explosion is strong, but it's not quite as precise as other emitter quirks.
12 HELLFLAME & CREMATION
Bakugou's power is pretty strong, since it's a concentrated fire-like attack that dishes out intense shockwaves, but straight-up fire is a far more precise and far more ranged power type that we think beats Explosion. Specifically, the almost-identical Hellflame and Cremation Quirks, belonging to Endeavor and Dabi respectively, easily outrank explosions with their immense power, coverage, and potential.
It is theorized (and mostly confirmed) that Dabi is one of Endeavor's children who turned into a villain, so it makes sense that their powers are similar, which is why they are paired together, though Cremation might be more intense since its blue flames imply a hotter temperature. Regardless, these flame quirks have been shown to be incredibly destructive and effective against enemies.
So, what beats powerful fire Quirks? Aside from water-based powers, which we have seen little-to-none of in the series, strong winds are known to interfere with fires in some way, be it spreading them or extinguishing them, which is why we are ranking Inasa Yoarashi's Whirlwind Quirk above Hellflame and Cremation.
A normal wind might cause a fire to spread faster, thus making it an ally to flames, but since Yaorashi is able to control his winds rather precisely, it wouldn't take much for him to suffocate the flames of even the strongest fire-type hero, especially considering he could spiral the oxygen out of the air.
10 HALF-COLD HALF-HOT
Shoto Todoroki's father, Endeavor, married an ice-powered woman in hopes of creating a hybrid Quirk capable of beating All-Might in the hero rankings. As messed up as this is, Endeavor definitely succeeded with his youngest son's Half-Cold Half-Hot Quirk.
Though he isn't on the level of beating All-Might quite yet, since he's still young and has a lot to learn, Shoto Todoroki is depicted as having one of the strongest, if not the strongest Quirk in his class, and possibly his entire grade. His fire control is not as precise or powerful as his ice control, but the versatility and range of Todoroki's Quirk more than makes up for it, which is why he makes it into the top 10.
9 MUSCLE AUGMENTATION
This is another one that we wanted to rank higher, since Muscular's Muscle Augmentation Quirk gave Izuku one of his toughest fights to date, but once again, this power type can't stand up to some of the more unique and subtly powerful Quirks in My Hero Academia.
That said, Muscle Augmentation is, on many levels, a frightening Quirk. Using this power, Muscular can add layers and layers of extra muscle to himself, muscles that allow him to break rock formations with ease and are so massive they cannot be contained by his skin. Muscle Augmentation makes it into the top ten strongest quirks both because it grants great strength to Muscular, and because it can apply to the villain's speed as well.
8 WARP GATE
If Muscle Augmentation isn't one of the top Quirks, then you might be wondering what we consider stronger than Muscular's immense power. One example is Kurogiri's Warp Gate Quirk, which, as the name implies, allows the villain to teleport with minimal limitations.
The extent to which Kurogiri can use his Warp Gate is absurdly impressive, since he can pinpoint where he wishes to teleport to based on coordinates or sight, a rare Quirk that makes him one of the most powerful villains in the world. On top of his travel capabilities, Kurogiri can also use his Warp Gate to quickly remove tough opponents from the battlefield and even cut them in half by closing portals mid-transport, an attack we bet even Muscular couldn't withstand.
What do you get when you cross Kitty Pryde's powers with Tintin's face and the muscles of a bodybuilder? You get Mirio Togata, one of the only three third-year students at UA academy. Mirio's Quirk, Permeation, is a powerful one, but only because of the intense training he's done to master it and overcome the downsides.
Permeation allows Mirio to walk through solid objects, but when it's activated across his whole body, gravity takes over and pushes him into the ground. Even worse, Mirio is unable to sense anything or breathe while moving through solid objects. These downsides might seem like major weaknesses, but Mirio has managed to master his Quirk, making him a tough opponent to beat, let alone catch or even lay a hand on.
Though Neito Monoma is portrayed as a smug idiot and thus not much more than a comic relief character, his Quirk is actually super powerful and we're surprised it hasn't been explored or explained more. Monoma's Quirk is Copy, which lets him copy the Quirk of anyone he touches for five minutes, which, with no shown limit to the number of Quirks he can copy at once, makes him a watered-down version of All for One.
As if his Quirk wasn't strong enough, Monoma also apparently absorbs the skills and knowledge of how to use the Quirk, which basically makes him unstoppable. This young hero might not be the brightest bulb, but otherwise, he should be considered one of the strongest students at UA.
Next up is Hitoshi Shinso's Brainwashing Quirk, which allows him to use mind control on whoever replies to him. We're going to bend our anime-only rule by a bit for this one, since what makes this Quirk top-five-worthy is a face-mask that has debuted in the Manga that is capable of turning his voice into anyone else's.
Even without this device — which is non-electronic, since his Quirk doesn't work when filtered through speakers, Shinso doesn't need to do much to have total control over multiple targets, the masks simply helps disguise his voice against those who know how his Brainwashing works. With or without his mask, Shinso has the potential to control even the strongest Quirks, which is why he is in the top five.
Quirks like Shinso's Brainwash are much more powerful than they seem, since any power that can incapacitate even the strongest opponent is far more useful than a bunch of super-sized muscles. One such Quirk is that of the hero killer, Stain, a power called Bloodcurdle which allows the anti-hero to paralyze his opponents by ingesting their blood.
Yes, it's super gross, but there's a reason he earned the title "hero killer," his Quirk allows him to stop all-powerful heroes in their tracks with nothing but a bit of training with bladed weapons. The only drawbacks to this Quirk are that the paralysis doesn't last forever (though it's plenty enough time for him to take out his opponents) and different blood types have different time limits.
Stain's incapacitating Quirk is pretty strong, but it's not quite as strong as Shota Aizawa's Erasure, which can erase the Quirk of anyone he looks at. We think this Quirk is stronger than Bloodcurdle since some heroes can still use their quirk when paralyzed, while Erasure takes away a super-powered opponent's main form of attack.
However, Aizawa's true strength is not in his Quirk, it's in his skills as a hero, like his agility, fighting prowess and battle strategy, which, paired with his binding cloth, made for restraining enemies. His goggles are designed to hide who his Quirk is being aimed at, making Aizawa a Quirk-cancelling force to be reckoned with.
2 ONE FOR ALL
Now it's down to the top two strongest Quirks in My Hero Academia, and of course, One For All makes it into the final cut. One For All is a unique Quirk that can be passed down, each user adding their own strength to it, increasing its power with every generation.
Prior to his retirement, there's no doubt that All Might is/was the strongest hero in the world, capable of leveling cities with just the air pressure from his punches. Midoriya has a long ways to go to get that point with One For All, but he's shown great promise and power thus far, and further ahead in the manga, we can see what his massive potential when Quirk-related injuries are temporarily not an issue.
1 ALL FOR ONE
Though All Might is the symbol of peace and was the strongest hero in Japan (and possibly the world), there was still someone stronger than him, All For One. All For One's Quirk, also called All For One, is the ability to steal the Quirks of others for himself, hence the name. With this power, the villain amassed countless Quirks over the years, including one that slows his aging (he's been around since the first One For All user).
All For One has too many superpowers to name, and with every power he steals, he ascends further into a god-like territory. While All For One was eventually defeated by All Might, we still rank his Quirk as the strongest in all of My Hero Academia.