Top 10 Strongest "RWBY" Characters

Updated on September 14, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy enjoys anime when not working as a chemist or building manager.

Characters in RWBY

Throughout the RWBY world, huntsmen and huntresses defend their kingdoms against the evil forces of Grim. Blending fairy tale fantasy with a hint of sci-fi, RWBY chronicles the adventures and growth of Team RWBY, four huntresses in training.

Strong as the girls are, we've encountered even deadlier warriors—which reign supreme? These are the ten strongest RWBY characters!

Spoilers ahead.

Winter RWBY
Winter RWBY

10. Winter Schnee

Semblance: Glyphs

Weiss's elder sister, Winter fights in a similar fashion as her sibling, combining swift fencing-like sword strikes with magical glyphs. She's also a skilled summoner, able to conjure swarms of birds to attack foes.

Essentially an older and stronger version of her sister, Winter was able to fend off Qrow for several minutes until their fight was interrupted (though it's debatable how hard he was actually trying).


9. Neo Politan

Semblance: Illusions

Neo rarely talks, but her actions speak loudly enough. First appearing in season two, she handed Yang her first-ever loss, and rather easily at that. She's also displayed surprising skill against Ruby and Cinder, and she's savvy enough to know when to retreat, opting to withdraw when confronted by Raven.

An umbrella may not be the most intimidating weapon, but Neo sure knows how to use it, especially when combined with her illusionary powers.


8. Adam Taurus

Semblance: Moonslice

Eventual leader of the White Fang, Adam uses his blade in a similar fashion to real-life Japanese Iaido swordsmen, rapidly sheathing and unsheathing the weapon for unpredictable attacks. His strength, speed, and endurance are all impressive, and he brandishes a menacing Semblance that lets him absorb energy, then channel it into a lethal sword attack.

After absorbing just two blows from Blake, Adam's Moonslice was strong enough to not just break through Yang's aura, but also sever her arm.

Hazel RWBY
Hazel RWBY

7. Hazel Rainart

Semblance: Pain Suppression

Hazel's calm and respectful demeanor almost make you forget he's an antagonist, but you'll certainly remember when he starts fighting. Hazel can ignore pain with his Semblance, letting him inject himself with Dust (magic) crystals to become a hulking beast who can discharge various elemental attacks.

Hazel took on quite a few of the main cast simultaneously, with his best attribute being endurance, repeatedly blocking weapon attacks with his bare hands.


6. Qrow Branwen

Semblance: Misfortune

Ruby and Yang's uncle displays vast battle prowess despite his nonchalant attitude and drunken tendencies. Even for the RWBY universe, Qrow wields a versatile weapon that can function as a sword, scythe, and gun all in one.

Crow gained the upper hand in his brawl with Winter and took down Tyrian Callows even when disarmed, highlighting his intense skill. He's also a shrewd combatant, with his only failing being a risky Semblance that causes misfortune to anyone around him—including allies.

Cinder RWBY
Cinder RWBY

5. Cinder Fall

Semblance: Dust Manipulation

Cunning and clever, Cinder's as dangerous off the battlefield as on it, able to successfully infiltrate Beacon and orchestrate its invasion. Cinder's mastery of Dust lets her unleash devastating fire attacks, and she was able to hold her own against both Glynda Goodwitch and Ruby Rose at once. She also pressured Raven during their battle, something very few could manage.

Cinder's exact ranking depends on whether you count her stolen powers, having pilfered half the strength of the Fall Maiden (and later the full amount).

Salem RWBY
Salem RWBY

4. Salem

Semblance: Magic

As of this writing, RWBY is still a work in process, with Salem serving as the primary antagonist. Her unique ancestry gives access to powerful magic and immortality, and she's able to control the mindless Grim monsters.

Salem's ranking a bit lower than she may deserve because we haven't seen her engage in many direct confrontations (yet), but she's definitely given hints of her monstrous abilities.

Ozpin RWBY
Ozpin RWBY

3. Ozpin

Semblance: Unknown

In his initial form, Ozpin rarely battled, but proved himself more than capable by single-handedly dueling Fall Maiden-boosted Cinder. While he eventually lost, he put up a surprisingly competent fight.

Ozpin's immortal in a different fashion from Salem, being reborn with every death and merging into a new soul. His latest bond with the youth Oscar has lost some power (since Oscar's body is untrained for battle), but Ozpin's still a brilliant warrior and strategist with centuries of experience under his belt.

Amber RWBY
Amber RWBY

2. Amber

Semblance: Unknown

Amber, the previous Fall Maiden, was ultimately defeated through Cinder's ambush, but displayed incredible powers during the clash. Amber favors wind magic, can summon brutal whirlwinds, and her trusty staff enhances her melee abilities.

Amber performed remarkably well against Cinder, Mercury, and Emerald at once, especially given Qrow's comment that she was still inexperienced with her powers.

Raven RWBY
Raven RWBY

1. Raven Branwen

Semblance: Portals

Raven's complex motivations make her difficult to predict, one day fighting alongside Team RWBY and the next with Salem's forces. But while her loyalties are fluid, her powers are firm. Raven's sword can change its properties based on which Dust she enhances it with (similar to Weiss's weapon), she can shape-shift into an actual raven, and her mere appearance caused even Neo to retreat.

Plus, Raven later reveals herself as the Spring Maiden and defeats Fall Maiden-Cinder, having successfully fooled everyone into thinking her attendant Vernal was the true Maiden. If all else fails, Raven's got an easy escape route with her portals, which let her warp to the locations of people she's bonded with.

Which character do you prefer?

See results

More of the Best RWBY Characters

Today we examined RWBY's most threatening characters, but we'll undoubtedly discover more in upcoming seasons, especially the remaining Maidens. Plus, Ruby's own silver-eyed powers will undoubtedly develop and likely make her a contender for the list. But for now, as we await Rooster Teeth's next RWBY update, vote for your favorite character and I'll see you at our next countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Jeremy Gill


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      • profile image

        Yaroslav Elchaninov 

        8 months ago

        Truly good and interestingly written text, i like it and i'm really apreciate your efforts. But yeah, Hazel was for sure stronger then Qrow, and since we don't know real strenght of previous Ozpin (and Salem isn't a "fighter"), I would put Hazel in third to second place (so far), even above Cinder.


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