Few villains are really unimportant in One Piece, but some have made a bigger splash than others in the Grand Line and throughout the various seas. Some might be fearsome threats, others manipulators hiding in the darkness, and some have even become allies over time.
The most successful villains of One Piece span the series, from Luffy’s humble start as a wanderer traveling via dingy to his status as the most famous pirate captain in the world. Like the Straw Hats, they’ve pushed themselves to thrive in their difficult and confusing world.
10 Crocodile Nearly Conquered Arabasta
The first villain to truly beat Luffy, and one of the first to push him to his utter limit, Crocodile had a distinct impact on One Piece that few other antagonists can claim. His time as mr. 0 of Baroque Works also led to Nico Robin’s introduction.
With the double whammy of being the leader of a crime syndicate and one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, Crocodile sought to add controlling the kingdom of Arabasta to his list. However, he was stopped by the combined efforts of the Straw Hats and Nefertari Vivi.
9 Spandam Managed To Destroy An Entire Island
With his sword-elephant hybrid Funkfreed by his side, Spandam proved to be a dangerous force during the events at Water 7 and Enies Lobby. Between his ruthless cruelty and his cowardly knack for deception, he more than made up for his lack of physical strength.
Spandam is also one of the few people to ever order a Buster Call, even by accident. While the attack did reduce Enies Lobby to nothing but rubble, it also resulted in enough chaos for Nico Robin to escape her imprisonment.
8 Enel Fell From Godhood And Sought The Stars
As the self-proclaimed god of Skypeia, Enel ruled as a ruthless tyrant for years before he was dethroned, using his powerful “mantra” to sense any word of dissent and his ark Maxim to smite any unbelievers in the lands below. He was dethroned by the Straw Hats, however, and had to seek his fortune elsewhere.
After his defeat, Enel sought to fly higher than ever before, believing the legend of the Fairy Vearth on the moon. When he made it to the moon, he soon uncovered an ancient city populated by ancient automatons, apparently built by his people’s ancestors long ago, now under siege by mysterious space pirates.
7 Donquixote Doflamingo Ruled Dressrosa With An Iron Fist
During his time as the former king of Dressrosa, Donquixote Doflamingo was feared and respected by its citizens, Few inside the kingdom were willing to upset such a notorious Warlord of the Sea, let alone a former World Noble, even if he now lived in exile .
Not only did Doflamingo hold great political power, he had plenty of physical might to back it up. Between powerful allies that included both the Marines and other pirates and his own powerful Devil Fruit, it’s no wonder that he forced Luffy to unlock his Fourth Gear.
6 Buggy Went From Enemy To Ally
As the first devil fruit user Luffy ever fought, Buggy has had an impact from the very beginning of One Piece‘s story. While his occupation of Orange Town was felled quickly enough, he had a bigger role to play later on.
Buggy’s next major role would come during One Piece‘s Impel Down and Marineford arcs, where he became Luffy’s powerful ally as he worked to escape the notorious prison and free Portgas D. Ace from the clutches of the Marines. Buggy was also featured prominently in One Piece: Stampede†
5 Caesar Clown Meddled In Mad Science
A mad scientist and former minion of the World Government, Caesar Clown’s Gasu Gasu no Mi just adds to his terrifying profile. This power allowed him to transform and control various gases, ranging from unstable and combustible vapors to lethal toxins.
Cesar’s experiments with artificial Devil Fruits have had a significant impact on One Piece as well, with creations such as “Dragon Number Thirteen” or the twisted “SMILE” Devil Fruits, that fuse man and beast into unnatural forms. Another experiment was eaten by Momonosuke, granting him a version of Kaidou’s Uo Uo no Mi.
4 Monkey D. Garp Is Just Like His Grandson
As a father to Monkey D. Dragon and a grandfather to Luffy and Ace, Monkey D. Garp shares the same bold, brash nature as his relatives. He also has the same extraordinary strength that all of those with The Will of D have demonstrated again and again.
While proud of his grandson in some ways, Garp is still a Marine, holding a rank just below admiral by his own choosing. Still strong in his old age, he was on par with the Gol D. Roger in his youth, allying with the legendary pirate during the mysterious God Valley Incident.
3 Kaidou Pushed Luffy To His Limit
One of the most powerful villains in One Piece to date, Kaidou was a mere soldier who transformed into one of the dreaded Four Emperors. He also became the new leader of Wano Country following his brutal conquest of the nation.
Many foes have pushed Luffy to his limits, but none succeeded quite like Kaidou. His Uo Uo no Mi Devil Fruit grants him the full power of a legendary dragon. Luffy had to awaken the true form of his own mythical Zoan Fruit to even stand a chance.
2 Big Mom Commands A Vast Crew
Few characters in One Piece have made an impact on the story like “Big Mom.” Between her ability to steal and manipulate souls via her Soru Soru no Mi fruit and her massive crew, Charlotte Linlin is a force to be reckoned with.
In her youth, “Big Mom” was a member of the infamous Rocks Pirates, thought to be the only crew thought to be equal to Gol D. Roger’s. It was during the God Valley Incident that things truly came to a head, as both crews clashed alongside the Marines and Linlin gifted her then-crewmate Kaidou his mighty Devil Fruit.
1 Im Has Been Ruling The World Government Unseen
Secretly ruling the world definitely represents a kind of success. Despite having the least screen time of any major One Piece villain so far, Im undoubtedly has had an impact on the world of One Piece. Few can match the power and menace the secretive leader of the tyrannical World Government brings into play.
For now, Im’s exact nature is a mystery. Both their powers and what they even represent closely held secrets, as they have only been seen in silhouette. They seem well aware of Luffy and many others, and keep watch over a massive straw hat, secured deep within the city of Mary Geoise.
NEXT: 10 Times One Piece’s Luffy Acted Like An Adult