Though it’s been around for about two years now, Black Clover took a bit more time than people might have expected to hit its stride. Considering the opening episode featured one of the most annoying voice acting performances in recent memory, it’s possible some people might have even given up on the show already.
But for those who are thinking of trying to watch the series again, but happen to be curious about some of the hypest moments of the show to make sure it’s worth their time to start over, this is the perfect list. Here we’re counting down some of the best, most vicious fights in the show’s history—the ones that were the tensest and/or had the most satisfying victories. However, a warning: this list does not hold back on spoilers.
10 YUNO VS. CATHERINE
Yuno’s meant to be Asta’s rival, which is supposed to mean he wins most of his battles easily. After all, in anime generally the rival is usually some faraway goal the hero can never quite catch up to. But Yuno’s battle against the witch Catherine isn’t quite the same, as she gradually poisons him with her spells, taking away his senses and making it impossible to fight. It takes a last minute turnaround courtesy of Yuno getting in touch with his ability to sense Mana for him to turn the tides. He gets the power of the Wind Elemental, Sylph, and blows Catherine away with a single spell.
9 ASTA VS. SEKKE
Asta’s second fight, but his first fight after becoming a proper “magician”. This wasn’t the best fight in the series, but it’s easily one of the most satisfying. After getting his grimoire, Asta heads to the Magic Knight Exams and comes across Sekke, a man pretending to be his friend until they get matched up together to see which is the superior fighter. Sekke mocks Asta both for having weak magic and for being a commoner...only to get knocked out by a single sword strike. True, he accomplishes this more with strength than any fighting talent, but it’s the beginning of the series.
8 NOELLE, YUNO, EN VS. ALECDORA, SOLID, DIMITRI
Long-time fans know, this match was a long time coming. Noelle starts Black Clover off as a self-conscious young girl, partially because she can’t control her magic, but mostly because her family consists of jerks constantly mocking her for her lack of magic control.
After several arcs of battles and working out her issues, she’s matched up against her brother Solid in the final match of the first round of the Royal Knight Exams. The fight barely lasts a minute, as she summons a massive water dragon to obliterate her brother’s water snake spell and easily win the match for her team.
7 FANZELL AND MARS VS. LADROS
This battle worked out to be almost as savage as it was vicious. Ladros was a mage with the ability to absorb the magic behind any spell tossed at him, and after his partner Mars experienced a change of heart out of a desire to protect both his and Ladros’ former teacher Fanzell, Ladros was very close to easily defeating them both thanks to powering up from absorbing too much energy. But at the last second, Fanzell notices Asta fighting a completely different battle and convinces him to redirect an attack from his match at Ladros, who finds the magic too much to absorb and gets taken out. See? Savage.
6 LANGRIS, SEKKE, FRAGIL VS. FINRAL, LEOPOLD, HAMON
So much of the Royal Knights Exam involved the background of the actual royal characters. This was supposed to be a 3 on 3, but everything winds up coming down to the two brothers on opposite sides, Finral and Langris. Langris spent his entire life taking on the role his older brother Finral was meant to have, and he takes out his frustrations and Finral succeeding in life despite that in this episode. The two clash using their void magic spells, but Langris’ spell is vastly stronger, and leaves Finral on the verge of death. Langris nearly finishes the job, but the timely arrival of the Black Bulls stop things from going any further, and provides one of the coolest visuals in the series.
5 THE BLACK BULLS VS. VETTO
It took the entire Black Bulls group to stand half a chance against Vetto. This fight is a turning point for the series, as it feels like all the good things Tabata had been developing up in the arcs prior finally clicked. Most importantly, we got to see the dysfunctional Black Bulls group fight not just like a team, but a family. During the battle they covered for one another’s inefficiencies in a scenario where a single mistake would’ve meant certain death for all of them as they were forced to battle an enemy with power surpassing that of Magic Knight Captains.
4 YUNO, NOELLE, EN VS. NILS, RUBEN, RILL
Black Clover isn’t frequently animated well, but sometimes the team involved goes all out, and for the last episode of the Royal Knights Exam arc, that’s exactly what happened. The genius rookie mage Yuno went up against the genius young Captain Rill, in a battle that was a visual spectacle. The two battled one another to a standstill—Rill taking advantage of his paint magic while Yuno used his Wind Elemental Bell for the first time since he acquired her. It’s a close match, but ultimately Yuno manages the victory by remaining focused on the rules and destroying Rill’s crystal during their match.
3 YAMI SUKEHIRO VS. LICHT
You wouldn’t expect the central villain to run into a challenge so early, and yet that’s what happened with this battle. By chance what should have been a fairly small-scale encounter winds up blowing up into a full on war between the Midnight Sun and all the Captains of the Magic Knights.
In the midst of that, the leader of the Black Bulls has a completely competitive fight with the head of the Midnight Sun. It’s the perfect contrast: Yami’s dark magic versus Licht’s light magic. There’s no sudden, unexpected twists, just two master magicians trying to end one another.
2 ASTA VS. LADROS
One of the better-animated fights of Black Clover, Asta vs. Ladros comes after Asta just narrowly defeats Fana, one of the higher-ups of the Midnight Sun. Managing to absorb Fana’s energy, Ladros comes back hyper-charged and is easily able to lay out all the exhausted remaining forces. Fortunately, at the last second “something” awakens inside Asta, and allows him to tap into the anti-magic energy of his sword. Though his form’s name (“ Black Asta”) leaves much to be desired, this fight doesn’t—hilariously one-sided, Asta displays vastly greater strength and speed, pummeling Ladros until he literally can’t move anymore.
1 MEREOLEONA VS. RAIA
This is unquestionably the most vicious fight in Black Clover. Up until this point, all we knew of Mereoleona was she was the Captain of the Crimson Lions after her younger brother was rendered comatose thanks to a surprise attack from the Midnight Sun, the main villains of the series. She faces off against Raia, a mage capable of copying and replicating any magic he’s seen once, but she just shrugs all of his attacks off and beats him stupid. The only reason she doesn’t outright win and bring things to an end is some timely plot-related saving for Raia.