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15 Most Powerful Hunter X Hunter Characters Ranked

Nearly every battle in "Hunter x Hunter" is an intense, multi-layered back-and-forth of attack and counter, full of next-level strength and brilliant gamesmanship. The series starts off following young Gon Freecss as he sets off to take the exam to become a Hunter like the father he never knew. Hunters are essentially super-powered humans whose skills and status as Hunters guarantees them a life of financial success, adventure, and privileges not granted to civilians (such as the ability to kill in most cases). Basically from the start of Gon's quest we see one life-or-death battle after another which means that the characters who rise to the top are unthinkably powerful.

You can draw a lot of similarities to such legendary fighting anime as "Dragon Ball" and "Naruto." To start, the top battles continue over many episodes. The characters grow and gain new strengths and abilities throughout. And specifically like "Naruto," there are some powers fueled by one's inner energy (you could argue that aura from "Hunter x Hunter" is like chakra from "Naruto," and Nen abilities are similar to Jutsu). Therefore, the most powerful have to not only be good physical fighters but also have some next-level special abilities. Even more, the fact that these battles combining magic and brawn can be more like a chess match than a fist fight means that intelligence plays into the equation. Keep that in mind as we count down the most powerful "Hunter x Hunter" characters.

15. Nanika

There are a lot of impressive abilities on "Hunter x Hunter" that defy the natural order of our known universe. None are as magical, though, as Nanika's ability to grant basically any wish somebody makes of it. Nanika is essentially a genie who has implanted itself in the body of Killua Zoldyck's sister. Its powers are such that it can restore Gon to life after he essentially dies due to the vow Gon makes in order to kill Pitou (more on that later). Despite all that power, though, Nanika is limited like the Genie from "Aladdin" — it can only use its powers to grant other people's wishes, though it can demand them to fulfill its requests in exchange, regardless how outlandish. Death greets the wisher who doesn't meet its demands.

Since it can't make wishes for itself, though, Nanika (Japanese for "Something") is basically powerless and defenseless, thus the reason it's so low on this list. One doesn't have to worry for Nanika's safety, though. Killua is its favorite and especially after it agrees to heal Gon, Killua is basically dedicated to being its bodyguard. Wish-granting abilities and a super-strong protector? Yeah, Nanika is pretty powerful.

14. Feitan

Feitan is the strongest member of the Phantom Troupe besides Chrollo (especially after Hisoka reveals that he had never been a real Spider, the denomination for a member of the Phantom Troupe). Feitan's strength and respect within the group is such that, after Chrollo leaves, he becomes the troupe's de facto leader.

When it comes to martial arts, it can be argued that few, if anybody, could defeat him, especially in a sword fight. His speed and strength allow him to dodge attacks from the powerful self-proclaimed Queen Chimera Ant Zazan, or to kill a bunch of sword-bearing mafia leaders with one quick slice. Then you add in his Rising Sun Nen ability and, well, forget about it. Rising Sun allows Feitan to emit a scorching fire that only becomes stronger with the more damage he has taken and will take. He has an aptitude for torture and isn't hindered by morality. 

13. Youpi

Youpi is the brute of Meruem's royal guards. A massive creature with a bit less brains than the other two, he can handle seemingly anybody in a fight. The monster never loses a battle, and when he seems to be pushed to his limit he simply evolves into something stronger. Even when he fights Morel and Knuckle and Killua lands a lightning strike at him and follows with Godspeed attacks, Youpi only becomes excited to continue fighting these powerful hunters. During the fight, though, he oddly matures and decides not to kill his vanquished enemies.

Youpi seems to have no weakness except for possibly lacking intelligence and strategy — though he gains even that. At the same time, he is a loyal servant to the king which somewhat hinders him. He gives of himself to revive King Meruem, and he dies of the radioactive poison that kills Meruem, a poison Youpi only encounters out of loyalty to the king. While a physical specimen, his life is short and his stock of strategy and wisdom is little.

12. Biscuit

Biscuit is literally the personification of the old adage: "appearances can be deceiving." At first glance she looks to be a cutesy young girl. Then she destroys a bunch of monsters Gon and Killua are struggling with on Greed Island, sends Killua flying a few times and handily defeats an enemy who would've killed Gon and Killua and forces him to instead help train the kids.

It turns out that Biscuit's "normal" body is a disguise for her actual body, that of a behemoth musclebound woman. She trains Gon and Killua to take their fledgling Nen abilities to the next level, and again prepares them to fight some of the most powerful Hunters in the world. She is a true Nen master and physically immense. Biscuit would possibly be higher (on the list) if she could accept her real body (which she decries as too "buff" — but her disguise leaves her weaker) and if she had the desire to hunt power instead of just hunting for stones.

11. Cheadle

Yes, Cheadle is a powerful Nen user. As a Three-Star Hunter, she is at the top of the Hunter Association, even if she is a medical-type Disease Hunter. Her real strength, though, lies in her intelligence and loyalty. Cheadle really emerges as a champion of deceased Chairman Netero during the arc dedicated to finding his successor — and by matching wits with other top Hunters to try and fulfill Netero's will and ensure strong leadership.

Eventually her demeanor and strength impresses everybody. She sees the man who wins the election, Pariston, as a manipulative opponent and throughout the process she's constantly trying to thwart his efforts. Though after he wins he surprises everybody by naming her vice president, then resigning so she can be president. Which means that as "Hunter x Hunter" the anime comes to a close, and Cheadle is chairman of the legendary Hunter Association. So, regardless her physical abilities, the fact that Cheadle runs the largest organization of badasses in the world makes her very powerful.

10. Killua

From the second Gon meets Killua, Killua cements his place as the coolest character in the series. The kid is calmly skateboarding through the endless Hunter Exam run, then decides to join Gon to run it for fun. He fights a serial killer in a subsequent stage and in one lightning-fast move rips out the guy's heart. The speed is appropriate, especially because eventually Killua's specialty becomes lightning attacks from his hands.

Killua is more skilled and experienced than Gon, if anything only lacking Gon's stubborn fearlessness. His ability to fight grown-up Nen masters with decades more experience than him, though, speaks to just how strong this kid is, as well as how frighteningly strong he will become. Killua is seemingly being groomed to take over the Zoldyck family of assassins someday. Still, given not only his strength during "Hunter x Hunter" but also his potential awesome future strength, Killua is easily one of the most powerful characters in a world of super-powered grown-ups.

9. Hisoka

It's difficult to gauge exactly how powerful Hisoka is. It's hard to say if he's ever been actually challenged in the anime. Although in the manga, Chrollo lays an elaborate plan to kill him and does kill him. However, Hisoka comes back to life.

Hisoka is maybe the most frightening participant in Gon and Killua's Hunter Exam. His power there and in the Heavens Arena Arc are what first inspire Gon to grow his strength and become a rival to Hisoka. Hisoka's Nen Bungee Gum allows him to perform some truly confusing slights of hand (literally, like, he can lose his hand and reattach it). His whole look is frightening, that of an evil clown driven by bloodlust. What is more frightening, though, is that Hisoka can back up his "amusing" guise with inventive and befuddling ways of killing nearly all who cross his path. Oh yeah, and he has lethal card-throwing abilities.

8. Chrollo

Chrollo is the head of the Phantom Troupe, the lead Spider, an organization that includes some of the most powerful Nen users in existence, including even Hisoka (ostensibly). It is a deserved title since Chrollo single-handedly fights both Silva and Zeno Zoldyck — and since the battle was ended because their contractors died, that outcome is still undecided (even if it seemed like Silva was about to kill him). To fight two of the patriarchs of the Zoldycks and survive is a testament in and of itself.

Chrollo has the enviable Specialist Nen ability of copying another Nen user's abilities, meaning he is basically a match for nearly everybody. In fact, he can only be stopped when Kurapika uses a vow, which gives the user much more strength but has conditions by which it can be used. Kurapika literally has to dedicate his most powerful attack to simply taking down the Phantom Troupe and nobody else — and at the top of the Phantom Troupe is the fearsome Chrollo.

7. Ging

Gon begins his quest to become a Hunter to try and understand who his dad is and why the old man chose to pursue the life of a Hunter instead of meeting — much less raising — his only son. As Gon continues his quest and Hunters ask who he is, the mention of his father arouses exclamations of awe from everybody.

Ging is a Two-Star Ruins Hunter who could apply to be a Three-Star Hunter. Netero, at some point, said Ging is one of the top five Nen users in the world, and Chairman Netero does not appear to be a person who exaggerates. Not only are Ging's skills (including his ability to copy other people's abilities merely by experiencing them) next-level, he also created "Greed Island." "Greed Island" is a game that allows Hunters to enter a Nen-powered video game world. The game plays a huge part in Gon and Killua's quest to become stronger — but the Nen brilliance and creativity in making the game alone establishes Ging as a truly powerful character. 

And the universal reverence establishes him as a real boss.

6. Silva

Silva Zoldyck looks like the cover of a fantasy novel, with his massive muscles, chiseled jaw, and flowing hair. He is also one of the most powerful assassins on the planet. While perhaps not as experienced as his father, Silva is more physically powerful to the point that he's the head of the Zoldyck family during the "Hunter x Hunter" timeline despite Zeno still being alive. Zeno even tells Silva that if he dies while they're both fighting Chrollo, Silva should still kill him.

Pound for pound, Silva might even be more powerful than Zeno, though Zeno's knowledge and arguably his Dragon Head Nen give him a slight advantage. Maybe Zeno (in his prime) would beat Silva (in his prime) as he is in the "Hunter x Hunter" timeline — but even that comparison to his legendary father speaks to how strong Silva is. If there is any one character in "Hunter x Hunter" you wouldn't want to get into a straight-up fist fight with, it's Silva Zoldyck.

5. Zeno

The Zoldyck family of assassins may be the greatest assassin family in the "Hunter x Hunter" world. We first get a glimpse of them when Gon meets Killua, the only other kid in the Hunter Test who is stronger than the grownups. He's also preternaturally adept at assassin skills. Later, we meet the eldest living member of the family after they bring Killua back into the fold: Zeno. Actually, the family is torturing Killua for leaving the family to take the test but Zeno tells them to stop torturing him. Zeno is old, and smaller than his lion-maned son Silva. Yet don't let that fool you: Zeno is a SAVAGE.

To start, he can change his aura into the form of a massive dragon. His Nen abilities are amazing, obviously, but so is his ability to understand Nen, like when he deduces Chrollo's multiple conditions for stealing somebody's abilities. He is so strong that many people compare him to Chairman Netero, and Zeno is confident enough to admit that, while he has known Netero for many years, he's not at the same level. The sign of a true warrior is admitting one's own shortcomings. He is also a man of principle, shaken to the point of leaving the battle against the Chimera Ants when he thinks he has injured a civilian he was not hired to kill. Silva may be physically stronger — taking in the whole package, however, Zeno has the advantage.

4. Pitou

Pitou is the most powerful of King Meruem's Royal Guards. With a cat's love of playing with their prey, Pitou is also the most sadistic and bloodthirsty despite smiling throughout. They can perform surgery and give medical help. They can also control others through a puppeteering ability, used most ruthlessly on Kite to make him into a human puppet which also hurts Gon.

This puppeteer skill has connections with the strength-enhancing Terpsichora. Aside from their Nen abilities, though, Pitou is just physically very strong. They have enhanced senses, enhanced speed and strength, and enhanced agility. Even more, they can withstand the most insane blows. That includes the one time King Meruem delivered what would have been a fatal blow on anybody else from his tail, and Pitou survived. Pitou also withstood a hit from Netero's 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva and even the first blow of Adult Gon's Jajanken: Rock. Though Gon does finally destroy Pitou with a couple more blows.

3. Netero

Netero is the Chairman of the Hunter Association for the majority of the series, first appearing during Gon and Killua's Hunter examination. In one scene Gon and Killua, who have already mastered some advanced assassin techniques, try to take a ball from him. Netero keeps them at bay with ease, though he also identifies how amazing they will be in the future. But his true power is revealed when he fights Meruem.

Zeno Zoldyck, patriarch emeritus of the Zoldyck family of legendary assassins, discusses how Netero is probably the most powerful warrior in the world. He readily admits that he is not as strong as Netero. Netero's 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva is the only attack to ever phase the great King Meruem. The First Hand from the attack draws blood. Finally, even in death, Netero is insanely-powerful. He was implanted with the Miniature Rose, an atomic bomb, set to go off if he ever loses. It does just that, taking Meruem to the brink of death. And while Meruem is revived by his retainers, that explosion eventually kills the seemingly-unkillable Chimera Ant king Meruem through the fallout.

2. Adult Gon

Eventually Gon fights Meruem's most powerful guard, Pitou. Infuriated by what they did to Kite — essentially killing and turning into a puppet his dad's apprentice (who also took Gon under his wing) — he has to defeat her even if it kills him. Therefore he makes a vow, which is a binding contract that allows Nen users to get next-level abilities. His vow: In exchange for gaining all the power he would ever have, he will lose the ability to tap into his aura permanently. During the battle, Pitou admits that this adult form of Gon could possibly even rival Meruem.

Gon does kill Pitou. Afterward, and in accordance with the vow, Gon basically withers. Killua is able to revive him using Nanika's wish-granting abilities — but it is still unknown if Gon will regain the ability to tap into his aura, or if he even has any aura left.

1. Meruem

The Ant King Meruem has never lost in combat. Nobody ever came close to hurting him except for Netero, the Chairman of the Hunter organization, who had to pull out every stop in his arsenal. When Netero dies in the battle, his checkmate move is essentially an atomic bomb — the Miniature Rose — that had been implanted inside him. It would flatten whole cities. Meruem is fatally wounded but alive enough that his royal guards Pouf and Youpi are able to revive him by letting him feed on them.

Meruem is also brilliant, as demonstrated when he plays masters in strategy games (Shogi, Chess, Go) and defeats them all (except for the poor, blind girl Komugi whose continual defeat of Meruem awakens compassion in the king). Plus, he's tough enough that he cuts off his own arm without flinching. He only dies from the radioactive fallout from Netero's Miniature Rose but still has never been defeated directly in combat.