Which Chakra Nature is the Strongest?

Which Chakra Nature is the Strongest?

Today I’ll be answering a question I came across which asked what the strongest chakra nature in Naruto is. Most of the responses I saw simply stated that there is no best chakra nature due to how each of them is related to each other, but I found that answer to be boring.

So instead of choosing the easy way out and saying that every chakra nature is equal, let’s actually give a definitive answer to this question. And yes, I realize that each nature has its own strengths, weaknesses, and situational uses, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re equal.

I’ll also be giving multiple answers to the question of which nature is best based on specific criteria. For example, the best of the basic natures or the best of the combined natures.

Finally, throughout this post, I won’t only be discussing which of the various chakra natures are best, but I’ll also be discussing which are worst, as well as commenting on the chakra nature charts themselves.

Naruto Chakra Nature Quiz

Naruto Chakra Nature Quiz

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Chakra Nature Basics

There are seven basic chakra natures which are split into two groups. On one hand, you have the five basic elemental chakra natures, and on the other, you have the two basic non-elemental chakra natures.

As a general rule, the elemental chakra natures are used for ninjutsu, while the non-elemental natures are used for genjutsu and taijutsu. While there are certainly exceptions to this rule, that’s still something we need to keep in mind when deciding which nature is best.

Elemental Chakra Natures

The five elemental natures are Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water (pictured below, starting from the top center and moving clockwise). As shown in the diagram below, each of these five natures is strong against one nature and weak against another.

It’s this cycle of strengths and weaknesses that people generally cite when they say that there is no one chakra nature that is stronger than the rest. However, I’m here to explain to you why that’s a false assumption.

The Five Basic Elemental Chakra Natures from the Naruto anime series (Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, Water)
The Five Basic Elemental Chakra Natures

Let me start off with some commentary on the chakra nature chart pictured above. While this is indeed the chakra nature diagram used in the Naruto franchise, it doesn’t really make sense if you think about it rationally, specifically the order of Lightning and Earth.

I don’t think many people would argue too strongly against Water being strong against Fire, and Fire being strong against Wind, but from there the chart gets weird. Logic dictates that Earth should be strong against Lightning in the same way Ground-type Pokémon are immune to Electric-type attacks.

Lightning and Earth

However, in the world of Naruto, Lightning is strong against Earth. I’ll explain why that is in a second, but first, this reversal of these two natures messes with the diagram even more. Typically we would also think of Lightning as strong against Water, but in this case, it isn’t, Earth is.

That final part is going to be important for determining which of the five basic elemental natures is the strongest.

Going back to why Lightning and Earth are swapped on this diagram, all we need to do is change our way of thinking and it makes perfect sense. Earth nature represents the material world in which we live and Lightning nature represents the ethereal realm of the divine.

If you want further proof of this, the Japanese word for “thunder” (which is often translated as “lightning” in English) is “kaminari” which means the “sound of the gods.” So, if we see Lightning and Earth natures as representing divine and mortal realms, it makes sense for Lightning to be the stronger of the two.

The Strongest Basic Elemental Chakra Nature

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, which of the five basic chakra natures is the strongest? Lightning. And, no, it’s not the strongest simply because it represents the divine realm.

You see, Lightning is the strongest basic elemental chakra nature because it’s actually strong against two other natures, and only weak to one. Lightning is strong against Earth as we can see from the diagram, but it’s also strong against Water simply due to the properties of Water and Lightning.

Sasuke Uchiha using the Lighting style (Chidori) from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden
Sasuke Uchiha using the Lighting style (Chidori)

On the flip side, Water is probably the worst basic elemental chakra nature because it’s weak to both Earth and Lightning and only strong against Fire. The only thing I can think of that would make Water a bit stronger is that it can be used for genjutsu occasionally, but I believe Wind can too so that still puts Water at the bottom.

Now, of course, the strongest basic elemental nature, and all natures to an extent, depends on the user and the opponent they’re facing. However, generally Lightning is the strongest because there’s 2x the chance that your opponent will be using a nature weak to Lightning.

Non-Elemental Chakra Natures

So, can the reigning champ, Lightning, stay on top if we introduce the next two contenders? Yin and Yang nature chakra may not be elemental, but they do count as basic chakra natures.

The Yin nature is made up of spiritual and mental energy and is used for things such as genjutsu or ninjutsu such as the Shadow Paralysis Jutsu. The Yang nature is made up of physical energy and is used for things like the Expansion jutsu.

Yin and Yang natures aren’t included on the elemental nature diagram not only because they aren’t element-based, but also because they aren’t affected by any of the other natures. In fact, they aren’t even affected by each other.

While Water was the worst nature of the basic elementals, I’d have to say that Yang is the worst nature of all the basic natures in part because it has no relation to the other basic natures. Sure, it isn’t weak to anything in particular, but at the same time, it isn’t strong against anything either.

The Case Against Yang Chakra

Why am I only saying Yang nature is the weakest and not Yin? It all comes down to the types of jutsu which can be used with each nature. You see, since Yang is the nature of physical energy — it’s primarily used to increase the physical capabilities of its user.

Now, sure, increasing your physical abilities isn’t a bad thing, but if we’re assuming that you can only use one basic chakra nature (as I’m assuming for this section) then Yang isn’t the nature you want to be stuck with. Anyone can increase their physical abilities to an extent without the use of Yang nature jutsu.

For example, Rock Lee can’t use any of the basic chakra nature types, and yet he becomes one of the physically strongest shinobi in the known Naruto universe. This means that if you have an affinity for one of the other chakra natures, you can still train yourself to be physically strong as well without needing to rely on Yang nature.

But, while Yang is the new weakest nature, Yin is the new strongest. Yin isn’t strong against two natures like Lightning is; it isn’t even strong against one nature, but it has no weakness and includes jutsu which are solid, all-around picks for fighting against any of the other natures.

Are you a Yin user fighting against a Lightning user? No problem, just hit them with a genjutsu to stop them in their tracks. The reason Yin nature is so good is simply because it has a good matchup against everything else regardless of strengths or weaknesses.

Chakra Nature Combinations

Alright, so we’ve established that Lightning is the best basic elemental chakra nature and Yin is the best basic nature overall, but the chakra nature diagram is about to get a lot more in-depth. Also, the diagram below doesn’t include all of the known combined natures, just the main ones.

Advanced Chakra Nature Chart from the Naruto anime series
Advanced Chakra Nature Chart

So, as you can see, I wasn’t lying when I said the chakra nature chart was about to get a lot more in-depth. While before we had two different groups of chakra natures, basic elemental and basic non-elemental, there are now an additional three groups, kekkei genkai, kekkei tōta, and Yin-Yang.

Kekkei Genkai Chakra Natures

Let’s first go through the kekkei genkai. These are combinations of two chakra natures which create a new chakra nature if the user belongs to a specific bloodline. The first example of a kekkei genkai we see in Naruto is Haku’s Ice nature which is a combination of Water and Wind.

However, as I mentioned, the user needs to be a member of a specific bloodline for the kekkei genkai to activate, so not everyone who can use both Water and Wind natures can use the Ice nature as well. For example, by the end of Shippūden, Naruto can use all five basic elemental chakra natures, but still can’t use Ice.

The kekkei genkai are shown as the outermost ring of elemental natures in the diagram above. Starting at the top and going clockwise we have Ice, Scorch, unknown, unknown, Magnet, Explosion, Storm, Wood, Lava, and Boil.

There are also some combined natures not featured on this diagram because they either overlap with other entries (such as Wood and Mud) or because we don’t know what combinations of basic elemental natures create them (such as Crystal).

Before I go any further I’d like to make a quick comment on Magnet nature. Why isn’t Lightning used to create Magnet? Magnet is Wind and Earth, but lightning is literally electricity. It’s called electro-magnetism for a reason; electricity and magnetism are intertwined.

With the exception of Magnet, and potentially Explosion, the rest of the kekkei genkai combined natures seem to make sense.

Kekkei Genkai Relationships

But, there’s one more thing I need to bring your attention to before I can explain which kekkei genkai combined nature is the strongest, and that is the fact that they aren’t related to each other. While the basic elemental natures had a cycle showing strengths and weaknesses, the combined natures do not.

If the combined natures followed the same pattern as the basic natures then Magnet would be strong against Explosion just as Lightning is strong against Earth, but that isn’t the case here. All of these kekkei genkai are, in theory, equal.

Because of this, I actually have to rely on the lore of the Naruto universe to choose which kekkei genkai is the strongest, even though I don’t necessarily agree with the lore. But, before I go into that, it’s assumed that any kekkei genkai nature is stronger than any basic elemental nature simply because it includes two of them.

That said, I still think the Yin nature would be able to compete with most of the kekkei genkai natures simply because of how good it is in every situation.

The Strongest Kekkei Genkai Chakra Nature

So, although I don’t necessarily agree with the reasoning for it, Wood nature is the strongest of the kekkei genkai combined natures. I know, Explosion, Lava, Scorch, and even Fire should be able to defeat Wood, but apparently, that isn’t the case.

You see, Wood in the Naruto universe is essentially diamond but turned up to 11. I can’t really explain why this is, but it likely has something to do with trees being considered sacred in one or all of the various Eastern religions on which Naruto is based.

So, while I’d like to say that Wood is one of the weakest combined chakra natures, the fact of the matter is that it’s actually the strongest kekkei genkai nature simply due to the in-universe lore.

Kekkei Tōta Chakra Nature(s)

Sure, kekkei genkai are cool and all, but what if you combine three basic elemental chakra natures instead of only two? Well, dear reader, you get what’s known as a kekkei tōta. Unlike kekkei genkai, it’s not yet known if kekkei tōta require the user to be from a specific bloodline.

There are only two known kekkei tōta users, and they aren’t from the same family, but it was instead stated that one passed the technique down to the other. This implies it’s not hereditary, but the name “kekkei tōta” does imply it’s hereditary because it means “bloodline selection.”

There’s also only one confirmed kekkei tōta to date, but hopefully, we’ll learn of a second one at some point in Boruto. So, by default, Dust nature is the strongest kekkei tōta, but just how does it stack up against all of the natures I’ve mentioned previously?

Third Tsuchikage, Ōnoki using the Dust (Particle) style from the anime series Natuto: Shippūden
Third Tsuchikage, Ōnoki using the Dust (Particle) style

Dust, or Particle, nature is a combination of Earth, Wind, and Fire (that can’t possibly be a coincidence). This nature is the most destructive of any I’ve talked about so far simply because it completely annihilates anything it comes in contact with.

I could argue that it’s technically no stronger in a one-on-one battle than any of the other natures (except Yang, which would lose), but the fact that it’s a combination of three basic elemental natures and has the power to destroy anything kind of puts it in a class of its own.

Sure, you could use Yin nature against it, but if someone has the ability to use Dust nature, then they probably won’t fall for your genjutsu or other Yin jutsu anyway.

Yin-Yang Chakra Nature

The final chakra nature is Yin-Yang, and as the name suggests it’s the combination of Yin and Yang chakra natures. Despite being a combination of the two non-elemental natures, Yin-Yang shows signs of being a kekkei genkai, although it’s never been officially labeled as such.

The reason I believe it should be considered a kekkei genkai is that there are only three known users of Yin-Yang outside of the Ōtsutsuki clan. Those are Madara Uchiha, Obito Uchiha, and Naruto Uzumaki.

Now, the fact that there are any known users outside the Ōtsutsuki clan would normally imply that Yin-Yang isn’t a kekkei genkai, but we need to take a look at how exactly Madara, Obito, and Naruto acquired this nature to begin with. None of these characters developed this nature on their own.

In Madara and Obito’s case, they acquired Yin-Yang after becoming jinchuriki of the Ten-Tails, which holds the chakra of the divine tree, which in turn is the sacred tree of the Ōtsutsuki clan. Naruto, on the other hand, received Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki’s chakra directly and then acquired Yin-Yang.

Because of how these characters developed the ability to use this special nature, it can be assumed that Yin-Yang is actually a kekkei genkai of the Ōtsutsuki clan. These three were able to obtain it through either stealing the power in the form of the Ten-Tails, or being given the power as Naruto was.

I also feel the need to point out that there are plenty of other shinobi who can use both Yin and Yang natures separately, but not Yin-Yang. Sakura is one such example, and this further leads me to say it’s a kekkei genkai.

Yin-Yang Vs. The Rest

Even if it is a kekkei genkai, Yin-Yang still deserves to be in its own group simply because it’s the only combined chakra nature within the non-elemental branch. So, how does this final chakra nature compare to all those that came before it?

Needless to say, it’s better than the seven basic natures since Yin is the best of those and this one includes Yin. So the real question is how does it stand up against the kekkei genkai and kekkei tōta natures?

I’d like to say that it’s hard to decide whether Yin-Yang or Dust is the strongest nature, but honestly, it isn’t. Yin-Yang is the best chakra nature there is, despite how powerful Dust is. And no, it isn’t because of genjutsu in the same way Yin was stronger than the other basic natures.

It’s actually because Yin-Yang is able to completely cancel out all other ninjutsu. This means that the previous winners, Lightning, Yin, Wood, and Dust all can’t touch Yin-Yang. Yes, Yin can still use genjutsu, but so can Yin-Yang since Yin is a part of it. And, yes, Yin-Yang users can still be proficient in taijutsu as well.


So what have we learned today? Lightning is the best basic elemental nature. Yin is the best overall basic nature. Wood is the best combined elemental nature (kekkei genkai). Dust is the best overall combined elemental nature. Yin-Yang is the best overall nature, combined or otherwise.

Let me know in the comments if you disagree with any of my picks or if there’s an aspect of chakra natures you think I left out.

And, if you’re interested in which characters in Boruto know which chakra natures, I have a new article out that dives into that. There, I discuss everything we know about the chakra natures used by 13 major characters.

If you enjoyed this article, click the like button down below and follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date.

Want to see how I ranked all 23 chakra natures (some of which aren’t included in this article) on a tier list? Check out the Naruto Chakra Nature Tier List article.

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