After 2 complete seasons and one in progress, MY HERO ACADEMIA has revolutionized characterization. Rather than focus solely on a small set of protagonists, MY HERO ACADEMIA involves most of its main heroes. Fights aren’t always one on one. We saw a  lot of collaborative battles during the Training Camp. Villains with a lot more power and experience aren’t always opposable alone. To reconcile that difficulty, students fight together. As a result, we have a pretty good look at the capabilities of most of the heroes. From the very beginning of the entrance exam to the sports festival, every character has shown themselves. Granted, many have shown their capabilities more than others, but all have shown something.

This list is by no means axiomatic. Each characters’ rank is based on an informed opinion, but an opinion nevertheless. I’ll be ranking the members of Midoriya’s class according to three criteria.

First are the character’s overall combat capabilities and powers. A lot of that will rely on the fights we’ve seen thus far in the anime and analysis of the Quirk writ large. Additionally, it’s incredibly important to take into account different characters’ level of experience and mastery over their Quirk. Second is heroism and adaptability. This concerns how each character has proven themselves to adapt their Quirk to battle, movement, and a variety of situations. One-on-one controlled fights are great, but true heroism stems from being ready for anything.

Finally is one of the most ignored aspects of Quirks. MY HERO ACADEMIA puts great emphasis on power being imperfect. Like a muscle, a Quirk can be overused. Each Quirk has its own drawback that somehow relates to its power. Uraraka’s ability to affect gravity causes stomach distress. Todoroki’s ice side slowly freezes his body. Iida’s engines can stall and fail like any normal one. This part of ‘best’ is how well each student is able to compensate for or reconcile the drawback to their Quirk. Within that is some consideration for potential cross-application of current feats. The power a student showed in one instance can reasonably be extrapolated to other situations.

Important to note in this list is that this is a ranking derived from the anime. In order to avoid spoilers for those not totally up to speed, manga details won’t be included. Secondly, I recognize that not all Quirks are built for combat. Some people are low on the list because a lot of heroism in MY HERO ACADEMIA centers around combat. Those students would be fantastic heroes given help. But ultimately, the best heroes, in my opinion, are those who are able to defeat any villain or those who can both provide support and fight.

20. Minoru Mineta

MY HERO ACADEMIA infamous pervert, Mineta.
Trash incarnate, a.k.a Mineta | Image: Crunchyroll

You better not be surprised. Mineta is basically the epitome of terrible anime characters in diminutive human form; even trash fails to accurately describe him. I’ll list the single positive part of him: he is smart. But even high grades and quick thinking are basically warped into perversion fuel for him. In terms of combative prowess, Mineta is only useful in controlled situations or along with other people. His Quirk gives him the ability to pop off his hair is as adhesive balls with a variety of functions. Thus far, the balls have been used to immobilize opponents and for Mineta to scale walls. In terms of battle potential, his Quirk is essentially like carrying around portable balls of super glue. It alone is rarely enough to immobilize a serious opponent. For actual heroism, it may have some capabilities in binding things together.

What makes Mineta fall short as a student is how much his own ability to contribute to anything suffers when he’s alone. If he tears too many of his hair-balls off, he begins to bleed profusely. Additionally, the quality of the adhesive on his hair is tied to his own physical health. Given that, he will always lose a battle of attrition since his power would taper off and make him bleed out whenever it is used enough. Even so, as we saw during his fight with Midnight, Mineta can quickly think of creative strategies. In this regard, he’s a lot like Midoriya. But he lacks the physical capabilities, Quirk power, or durability to meaningfully fight a serious opponent or do much of anything besides ogle his classmates.

19. Toru Hagakure

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Toru Hagakure.
Your friendly neighborhood Invisible Girl | Image: MY HERO ACADEMIA Website

There’s likely a question rumbling through your mind. How is the invisible girl better than Mineta? Pretty simply, her power allows her to be marginally less useless than Mineta by way of reconnaissance. Due to lack of significant presence in fights, it’s hard to see where she might fit in. But during the entrance exam, she managed to earn her spot by sneaking around the giant robots and deactivating them. By making use of her constant invisibility, she can either disable weapons or scout certain locations.

Compared to Mineta, she, like him, is generally useless alone. But, unlike Mineta, her Quirk doesn’t have any major drawback stemming from use. Its activation appears to be unconscious, as she hasn’t shown the ability to deactivate it. It continues to keep her invisible in her sleep. However, since objects she ingests disappear the moment she consumes them, we do know her Quirk isn’t merely to be transparent. In any case, while she may be one of the weakest students in the class, the ability to conduct invisible scouting missions is amazing. She has little one-on-one combat capability. But where she shines is the non-fighting missions like deactivating or checking out something in secret. There isn’t a physical drawback to her power, meaning she will usually marginally be more useful than Mineta in missions and scouting efforts. That earns her a spot higher than the bottom.

18. Yuga Aoyama

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Aoyama using Navel Laser
Aoyama’s fancy regalia | Image: Crunchyroll

Aoyama is a perfect example of amazing Quirk, weak personality, and harsh drawback. His Naval Laser is powerful enough to destroy metal and pierce through walls. Its destructive power is capable of being redirected via proper outfits and costumes. Aoyama generally is at least capable of making use of those tools to focus, aim, and direct his laser. The issue is, he is both too timid to engage properly and too weak to handle the drawbacks of his own Quirk. Firing the laser repeatedly or powerfully causes his stomach to collapse or sends him into vomiting fits. The severity of this scales upward with the power and duration of the laser. Essentially, this means that in situations where his laser is useful enough, he usually is down for the count immediately afterward.

These multi-faceted weaknesses build upon themselves in the story; because Aoyama is so timid and wary of direct combat, we don’t see him often in those situations. When he is around combat, he finds himself in perfect positions to snipe enemies with a single powerful shot. Alternatively, he acts in a support role. If his personality were a bit sharper, he would be much higher on the list simply due to the laser’s power. If his laser didn’t cause such disastrous side effects after little use, even nervous use could be more useful. As he is now, however, his Quirk is almost only useful in enhancing lateral movements and getting across short distances quickly. He is a pretty fun character though.

17. Hanta Sero

MY HERO ACADEMIA Student Sero
Wherever a package needs sealing, he’ll be there | Image: Crunchyroll

Sero’s Quirk is basically a better version of Eraser Head’s preferred weapon. He can create a sturdy tape dispensed from his elbows. The tape can either be sticky on one or both sides and doesn’t have much of a limit. Producing a lot of it makes his skin incredibly dry and causes him pain, but he’s still able to continue making more. Unlike others like Yaoyorozu who create things directly from the calories and matter they consume, Sero doesn’t have much of a true limit. However, like a lot of MY HERO ACADEMIA characters outside of the main fighters, his Quirk is mostly useful for very niche situations. Sero’s tape is amazing for binding and restraining an enemy. His binding attacks are similar to those of Eraser Head, but Sero lacks the ability to override someone’s Quirk.

Making effective use of a sealing or binding power is path dependent on the target being somewhat incapacitated in the first place. In terms of general heroism, Sero is able to grab people from afar and would be incredible in a rescue effort. His Quirk can be used to grab for a variety of purposes, but not really for direct attacks. A large part of his low ranking comes from that. But also, it’s hard to ignore the fact that his Quirk is basically a commercially available thing. Aizawa’s weapon captures in more or less the same way as Sero’s tape and is made of stronger material. Sero is most useful in grabbing falling people, maneuvering well, and setting traps. But too much of that depends on high-quality heroism from others, thus his low rating.

16. Mina Ashido

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Ashido and her trademark acid
Who knew acid could be so cool? | Image: Crunchyroll

She literally breakdances while fighting. If you don’t think someone flinging around corrosive acid while spinning on the ground is cool, MY HERO ACADEMIA is wasted on you. In terms of standard schoolwork, Ashido isn’t one of the smartest in the class. Her grades aren’t entirely great, but at the very least her abilities as a hero and dancer are solid. Her Quirk, Acid, allows her to freely secrete acid from her body. In addition to generating the acid, she’s able to freely manipulate the viscosity and solubility of the acid. This creates several offensive uses.

For one, she can simply fling and throw the acid to melt things around her. Touching something and secreting the acid directly has the capability of dissolving walls or any impediments. She can secret is toward the floor and quickly modify its viscosity in order to skate along the ground at high speeds. During her match against Aoyama, she skated around him fast enough to quickly dodge the latter’s Naval Laser. Combining the natural maneuverability with her own athleticism and flexibility makes her pretty formidable. Again, this is a good set of strengths amongst the lower parts of the class, but she would lose against the upper portion of this list in most scenarios. Ashido is one of the spunkiest members of the class and definitely an interesting fighter even if not the strongest.

15. Rikido Sato

MY HERO ACADEMIA Student Rikido Sato
A spoonful of sugar helps the muscles do down | Image: Crunchyroll

Sato’s Quirk is incredibly strong, but its particular side effect scales upward way too fast in comparison to its benefit. Sato’s Quirk, Sugar Rush, activates at a certain amount of sugar consumed and increases in duration with more sugar. His strength triples for five minutes if he eats ten grams of sugar. Any additional ten grams adds three minutes to his strength. First of all, and this may be a cultural difference between the West and Japan, but 10 grams is nothing. Sweetened beverages often have almost triple that per serving and even fruit naturally contains about that. Sato doesn’t have an incredible amount of screen time, but he likely accidentally triggers his Quirk quite a bit. Converting sugar into strength using his Quirk has a major downside too. He gradually loses cognitive ability and becomes more sluggish the more he ingests sugar.

But secondly, this is where the weakness and benefit scale poorly. Five minutes is not much at all in terms of a serious fight. Most hero battles in MY HERO ACADEMIA involve some degree of planning, movement, setup, and coordination before the real battle even starts. It’s likely that in a one on one fight, Sato will always find it somewhat difficult to fight seriously without giving up his intelligence for the fight. And, as we’ve seen with Midoriya, brute strength alone doesn’t really win fights. Muscular, Midoriya, and All Might have enhancer type Quirks that also boost speed. Sato has a Quirk that makes him somewhat strong but very stupid. His Quirk’s weakness is what puts him low on the list. If the drawbacks were less severe, he’d be much higher.

14. Kyoka Jiro

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Kyoka Jiro
No need to pass the aux | Image: Crunchyroll

Apart from being one of the coolest in her class, Jiro has an incredibly versatile and adaptable Quirk. Generally, a Quirk in MY HERO ACADEMIA will be incredibly useful for rescue, reconnaissance, or combat. When someone’s power is incredible in one aspect, it generally is markedly weaker in some other one. Jiro’s Earphone Jack is a sort of jack of all trades Quirk. While her potential is not especially capable of overwhelming her classmates in battle, she has found ways to make of her Quirk to achieve success in a huge variety of respects. What most people forget is that her aux cord earlobes are not brittle and not static. She can stretch them as far as six meters and they’re powerful enough to crack boulders. Even when used as simple whips, it’s enough to be a relatively serious combative threat.

But on top of that, she’s also more than capable of using the cords’ unique properties to emit sound. By projecting her own heartbeat through her jacks, she can emit sound able to stun people and destroy objects. This essentially means she can destroy things directly or shatter things from a distance depending on the need. Her Quirk lacks a specific weakness and extends even to reconnaissance needs. By plugging herself into walls, she can hear through even thick barriers. Jiro’s standard hearing is incredibly strong too, making her a relatively impressive all-rounder. She’s rather shy, but she’s done really cool stuff (like wield a sword!) in battle. The main issue with her Quirk is how niche and supplementary its application is. Her Quirk is primarily useful when assisting other, more intense Quirks. Recon is great, but her low battle potential hinders Jiro.

13. Mashirao Ojiro

MY HERO ACADEMIA Mashirao Ojiro
MY HERO ACADEMIA’s master of hand-to-tail combat | Image: Crunchyroll

Ojiro is one of the most underrated characters in the show. In my opinion, a large part of this is due to the relative simplicity of his Quirk. He has a tail, and that’s pretty much it. It seems so basic in comparison to things like gravity manipulation or explosions, so it’s easy to dismiss Ojiro’s potential. However, he’s able to combine the functions of his tail with hand to hand combat skills to essentially create a better version of martial arts. Among the MY HERO ACADEMIA students, he’s one of the best hand-to-hand combatants. He uses his tail offensively, and it’s strong enough to shatter rock with relative ease. By slamming it onto the ground, Ojiro can boost his speed and quickly move toward an opponent. The close quarters-style mixed with an extra, sturdy limb make him pretty strong up close.

But we never get to properly see how great he is because of his matchups. Todoroki is one of the main opponents he has during the Battle Trial arc. But as Todoroki himself said, they’re just on two very different levels. It wouldn’t make much sense to think of Ojiro as weak for losing to an overpowered character who was going hard. To pass the entrance exam, he would have had to take down several robots. He lacks any sneaking ability that we know of, and he didn’t rescue anyone either. That means he was beating down robots with his bare hands. Additionally, the movement enhancement derived from his tail is top notch. He earns his spot with incredible strength and resourceful use of his Quirk.

12. Mezo Shoji

MY HERO ACADEMAI Mezo Shoji
Need a hand? Or several? | Image: Crunchyroll

This man literally carries the team on his back with no difficulty. Although quiet, he has an extremely interesting Quirk with a variety of applications. Dupli-arms, despite what the name implies, allows Shoji to create extra appendages. These can be arms, legs, eyes, or even mouths capable of speech. Having multiples of sensory organs enhances his hearing and sight. The ability to create new limbs means that losing one or two isn’t too big of a problem with him. His Quirk naturally aids healing to the point of making it more like regeneration. Additionally, while not directly related to his abilities, he is incredibly strong. Shoji was able to exert about 540 kilos of force during early Quirk testing. That’s comparable to the force top boxers produce with their strongest hits.

But where he really shines is his adaptive use of limbs. As a hero, he’s already shown he is more than capable of carrying multiple people on his back while still evading enemy attacks. By combining several produced limbs, he can glide through the air. So given enough height, he can basically fly and regenerate any limbs he loses while he takes damage. The additional eyes and ears he grows mean sneak attacks on him are functionally impossible. This makes Shoji one of MY HERO ACADEMIA’s most versatile and well-rounded heroes. He’s not quite the combat all-star, but he still proved to be integral to helping Midoriya escape the forest during the Training Camp arc.

11. Denki Kaminari

MY HERO ACADEMIA Denki Kaminari
Even his name is electric! | Image: Crunchyroll

Denki is a hella cool guy with a very cool Quirk. He’s incredibly nice to his friends and classmates. In battle, his Quirk’s power and indiscriminate nature reveal his caring and friendly personality. Denki is capable of attacking a large number of enemies at once with high voltage attacks. During the attack in the Unforeseen Simulation Joint, he was able to take down several villains with a single shot. Apart from Todoroki, he’s one of the only students in MY HERO ACADEMIA capable of doing that. His power, however, affects him when overused. Denki has to wary of short-circuiting his own brain and losing his ability to function briefly. But, when given time to ensure his comrades are out of the way, he is an absolute monster in battle.

While Denki’s prowess in rescue and adaptability is somewhat low, the combative potential of his Quirk more than makes up for it. As with most students with emitter-type Quirks, the main issue in combat is focusing and directing energy. Bakugo’s explosions, Aoyama’s laser, and Denki’s electricity all excel when powered up and directed. Unlike Aoyama however, Denki’s Quirk drawback only kicks in when he exceeds his natural voltage and short circuits. So long as he uses his power more directly, he can constantly dish out wicked powerful electric shocks.

10. Ochaco Uraraka

A fierce determination that defies gravity | Image: Crunchyroll

Uraraka has consistently been an undermined character in MY HERO ACADEMIA for plot purposes. A common trend in shonen anime is the relegation of a male protagonist’s love interest into a role that completely revolves around this. Uraraka is an unfortunate example of this. Since the very first episodes, she went from being the first person Midoriya saved to his biggest fan. She respects him as a hero and as a person. But the anime takes this respect and admiration to a level such that it overshadows her actual character. It wasn’t until her fight against Bakugo, one of the strongest in the class, that we saw Uraraka’s real strength. Her Quirk, Zero Gravity, has some of the coolest adaptive attacks in all of MY HERO ACADEMIA. She can fluctuate between making objects weightless or normal with a touch of her fingers.

For combat, this allows her to throw and swing objects as if they were weightless and nullify her Quirk just before impact. Bakugo had to actually get serious in order to ensure his victory. Since the Festival arc, she’s improved her skills to the point where she was able to defeat Himiko Toga in hand-to-hand combat. She feels nausea much less when using her Quirk, making the biggest improvement to her abilities next to Midoriya. Due to her ability, she doesn’t need to be strong. She’s incredibly smart and the objects she touches are weightless. As a hero, she can easily rescue civilians and hold her own against villains. She’s certain to become one of the strongest pros eventually, and she could certainly take down a fair handful of her classmates.  On top of that, her strong resolve will always keep her going.

9. Koji Koda

MY HERO ACADEMIA Koji Koda
The…everything whisperer | Image: Crunchyroll

He’s a major example of a quiet character with underrated Quirk. Koda is incredibly shy and even goes as far as communicating via sign language in order to avoid talking. He’s not very combat-oriented without good reason. As such, a lot of potential characterization for him in MY HERO ACADEMIA simply doesn’t happen. We understand his power. But, unlike a lot of other Quirks, the main thing holding him back is a fear of what he controls, not a harm stemming how he controls it. What this basically means is he’s able to move past his fear when necessary and still use his power to its maximum potential. In terms of basic combat, his ability to control animals and insects means he can instantly swarm an enemy while outdoors. So long as he screams long enough and loud enough, he can summon endless allies.

Give that man an amplifier, and his range would become absolutely ridiculous. The only problem he absolutely needs to work on is his confidence. Unlike a lot of others, Koda simply isn’t on screen or active enough to develop that power. However, during the Training Camp arc and the Festival, he proved himself quite capable of protecting his friends when it matters. As a hero, he can easily make use of naturally present animals and insects for reconnaissance, offense, defense, rescue, search, and even just as friends. Koda was capable of soloing Present Mic with minimal effort. It’s really the only fight of his we’ve gotten to see, but he proved himself plenty. His strength is top notch, and it’s a shame we hardly ever get to truly see it.

8. Ejiro Kirishima

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Ejiro Kirishima
No one hits quite as hard | Image: Crunchyroll

This man literally goes hard. Kirishima turns one of MY HERO ACADEMIA’s simplest Quirks into an amazing offensive and defensive tool. Recently in the series, his biggest accomplishment isn’t even directly related to his power. He is the only person to form a mutually respected relationship with Bakugo. This proved to be absolutely instrumental in getting Bakugo to even allow himself to be rescued. His tough and powerful personality is equally as indicative of his Quirk’s strength. Kirishima’s Hardening grants him resistance to electricity, heat, explosions, and shock waves. The tough exterior adds a massive layer to Kirishima’s natural defenses. He can take more hits than almost anyone in the class.

The offensive side of his Quirk is even more impressive than the defensive aspects. While using Hardening, Kirishima’s strength increases to the point where he’s capable of digging into concrete. During the Sports Festival, he defeated Tetsutetsu, whose similar Quirk allows him to harden into steel. That confirmed Kirishima’s Hardening was incredible even before his internship training. The only weakness to his Quirk is that its hardness decreases with lower stamina. The longer he fights, the less effective his amazing defense becomes. But this is only an issue in direct combat without reprieve. In a rescue situation, he can constantly defend civilians while being immune from falling debris himself. In combat, he constantly can work to increase his natural stamina and maintain a near maximum hardness.

7. Tsuyu Asui

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Tsuyu Asui
The series’ froggiest hero | Image: Crunchyroll

Not only is Tsuyu the one true MY HERO ACADEMIA Best Girl (if you disagree with this, fight me), but she’s also incredibly crafty in using her Quirk. Tsuyu can do virtually anything that frog can do, and even has some froggy speech tendencies and traits too. She can stick to walls, extend her tongue, jump long distances, regurgitate toxic liquids, and camouflage herself. Individually, any one of these abilities would be somewhat useless for a superhero. But, Tsuyu’s Quirk is a mutation type and modifies her body to accomplish these feats. For her, using her ability is as natural as it would be for a frog, so her comfortability in it is top notch.

On top of that, she possesses a keen intellect. Tsuyu was one of the first to notice the similarities between All Might and Midoriya. After Bakugo’s capture, she showed a great deal of maturity in debating the ethical implications of a vigilante rescue mission. During the filler internship episode last season, we saw Tsuyu’s potential in a water-based environment. She is best suited for rescuing people in aquatic situations, taking advantage of her mobility in water. In general, she is smart and calculating, capable of making plans that rival Midoriya’s intense brooding. Without being as smart as she is, she probably would be a lot lower in the list. But by combining her tactical planning, super strong tongue, and frog traits, she’s one of the most well-rounded heroes in the class.

6. Momo Yaoyorozu

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Momo Yaoyorozu
MY HERO ACADEMIA’s ultra-rich, ultra-creative hero | Image: Crunchyroll

Best. Quirk. Ever. If Yaoyorozu wasn’t so strongly attached to her morals (or rich!) this power could legitimately ruin the economy of MY HERO ACADEMIA. Imagine being able to just create gold as long as you ate a lot and read up on its chemical composition. Yaoyorozu is capable of creating anything given preparation and a solid meal. Early in the series, she seemed to merely be a rich girl with fancy stuff. But this wasn’t at all due to her being realistically weak.

Rather, her timidity and coyness didn’t get fixed at all until after her fight alongside Todoroki against Eraser Head. Since then, she’s shown to be quick-thinking, reasonable, and capable of creating a wide variety of devices from careful study. Without her, it likely would have taken weeks to track down the Vanguard Action Squad and Bakugo. Even Todoroki had to rely on her help in order to defeat Eraser Head.

Her Quirk is well suited for any situation she can think of. During the assault at the Unforeseen Simulation Joint, she displayed considerable skill with weapons of her own creation and was able to arm her classmates. She has enough knowledge of explosions and weaponry to create cannons and grenades. If she really wanted to take someone out, she likely could produce more lethal weapons like guns at a moments’ notice. And, as we saw during the Training Camp arc, her quick thinking and gas masks saved most of the students from the Vanguard Action Squad. In strictly one-on-one, spur of the moment combat, she might lose most fights. But in anticipatable matches, rescues, general heroism, and investigatory skills, her Quirk and intellect combination is perfect.

5. Tenya Iida

MY HERO ACADEMIA student Tenya Iida
If speed is the plan, Iida’s your man | Image: Crunchyroll

Super fast, super energetic, glasses. What more do you need? Iida’s speed is incredible and his Quirk, Engine, allow him to perform sweeping movements to boost his already significant strength. While taking revenge on hero killer Stain, Iida managed to track him down and put up a decent fight. Afterward, alongside Todoroki and Midoriya, they were able to defeat the hero killer and deliver him into the custody of the pros. While Midoriya is capable of out-speeding Iida in certain circumstances, the engine-legged hero is still generally the fastest over lateral distance. When he forcibly activates his engines to use Recipro Burst, he can move so fast that even fighters as gifted as Todoroki struggle to react in time. By fighting with swinging kicks boosted with Engine, Iida is easily one of Class 1-A’s most destructive.

Like a lot of others in MY HERO ACADEMIA, he is also physically more powerful than average, even in ways not directly tied to his Quirk. He’s about as strong as Kirishima, has massive amounts of stamina, and can take plenty of hits before permanently going down. His tremendous charisma and leadership skills make him a natural class president. It’s reasonable to assume that those same qualities transfer into his heroism.

Since he was born into a wealthy hero family with similar Quirks, he has access to years of experience from his siblings and family. The fights of his that we’ve been able to observe on screen make him a clear powerhouse of amongst students and a great combatant. We haven’t had too much of an opportunity to see him in rescue and support situations, but his Engine allows him to quickly transport civilians or move debris with his massive strength.

4. Fumikage Tokoyami

MY HERO ACADEMIA Fumikage Tokoyami
The MY HERO ACADEMIA prince of darkness himself | Image: Crunchyroll

Tokoyami is a curious situation, so it’s important to note what really counts as ‘strength’ for him. Most watchers would be hard pressed to see Dark Shadow’s berserk, uncontrolled form and call it a ‘strength’ of Tokoyami’s. If a power is capable of only attacking indiscriminately at full force, that power is not attributable to the strength of the user. At full power, it’s unclear how insanely strong Dark Shadow would become in a real fight. It was easily able to incapacitate the villain Moonfish, who was easily handling multiple students at once moments prior. Additionally, his power is greatly diminished when he’s around any significant light source. Todoroki’s fire and Bakugo’s explosions both force it to be docile. Daylight naturally weakens Dark Shadow. But in this weakened state, Dark Shadow is still one of the best Quirks of the show.

This is for three main reasons, the first being Dark Shadows ability to act semi-independently. The Quirk itself is able to guard against attacks that Tokoyami himself doesn’t see. It’s a great tactile skill and can grab enemies in addition to attacking them normally with punches or claws. It’s the only Quirk in MY HERO ACADEMIA with its own personality. Because Dark Shadow is sentient and follows orders, Tokooyami can adapt it to be combative, support, or rescue roles in most situations. One weakness that wasn’t initially clear is how Tokoyami’s mental state affects his Quirk; negative emotions make Dark Shadow difficult to control. But unless the day is especially bright or the opponent can generate light, Tokoyami is a major offensive threat. His non-combat capabilities remain even around light, earning his spot as the class’ fourth best.

3. Izuku Midoriya

MY HERO ACADEMIA Protagonist Izuku Midoriya
A Symbol of Peace in training! | Image: Crunchyroll

Midoriya is only capable of consistently moderating Full Cowl at 8%. He can increase the percentage for single attacks. However, adrenaline prevents him from holding back. Midoriya probably suffers the biggest drawback of Quirk use. At this point, any more major battles will render his arms completely useless following overuse.

Midoriya’s problem is that he epitomizes heroism without the ability to fully use One For All. He protects others readily, but that means he will destroy himself to save another. When saving Kota, that arguably was necessary to save a child’s life. But fighting after sustaining critical injuries is a dangerous habit. Because of this, Midoriya is not ranked according to his 100% power. If that were the metric of evaluation, he’d obviously be highest. Against Todoroki, he could’ve easily killed the latter with one direct hit. But, at 8% in Full Cowl, where he can fight without destroying himself, he isn’t able to launch massive attacks without reserve.

Even so, Midoriya is incredibly fast, has high maneuverability, can safely transport civilians, and has great battle sense. If anything, the only thing keeping him from the number one spot on this list is time. He’s only had his Quirk for a sliver of time. Most people in MY HERO ACADEMIA are born with their Quirks. As Midoriya is now, he still can’t properly draw out the full power of the Quirk without destroying his body, only letting him inch up to number three. But he does deserve props for his strong analytical skills and unique ability to impart lessons from every battle he watches.

2. Katsuki Bakugo

MY HERO ACADEMIA best bully, Katsuki Bakugo
An explosive fighter with an even more explosive personality | Image: Crunchyroll

MY HERO ACADEMIA’s original bully is actually pretty damn powerful. His Quirk allows him to secrete a nitroglycerin based sweat and detonate it freely. This makes him a short to mid-range fighter without additional equipment. At face value, Bakugo doesn’t seem smart, mostly because his ostentatious and rude personality lend themselves to a simple fighter. In reality, Bakugo is one of the smartest in the class academically, the best in terms of unpredictable attack pattern, and has truly mastered his Quirk. This can potentially turn into a problem later in the series if he’s unable to improve the magnitude of his firing power, but at this point, it’s already rather high. Bakugo has an amazing understanding of practical and applied physics and uses the force from his blasts to dodge attacks and glide across the air.

During the Sports’ Festival, Bakugo’s explosions were considerably large and he was able to focus the blasts to some degree. Equipped with his complete hero costume and gauntlets, he can store his sweat and release even larger, more targeted blasts. These can destroy Todoroki’s massive sheets of ice. He displayed an affinity for rational thinking after he was kidnapped, handling himself alone against the Vanguard Action Squad prior to All Might’s arrival for rescue. The problematic area for Bakugo is general heroism. It’s likely that he would be more than capable of saving people, but his attitude might interfere with that. However, during the fight against All For One, he made the same triage-type calculus that privileged everyone’s safety over his own pride. Given that, it’s unlikely his pride would be quite as hyperbolized as it usually is when civilians are a concern.

1. Shoto Todoroki

The best student of MY HERO ACADEMIA's Class 1-A
The best student of MY HERO ACADEMIA’s Class 1-A | Image: Crunchyroll

Now, before you tear my head off, consider a few things. Up through the Sports Festival Arc, Todoroki was an indisputable powerhouse. Barring Midoriya literally punching a hole through him or killing him, Todoroki was far and away stronger. During their match, Todoroki was able to block Midoriya’s air attacks, took a few hits, and expertly froze Midoriya’s limbs. This is after he overexerted himself in previous battles. Also, that’s only half of his real power. Todorki’s Quirk is incredibly useful and absolutely, ridiculously overpowered.

Most Quirks have a drawback tied to the Quirk that makes consistent use of it impossible. This is like lactic acid buildup or muscle tearing that prevents someone from lifting their maximum weight constantly. While we don’t yet entirely know the drawback of his fire-power is, MY HERO ACADEMIA has already shown that his ice slowly freezes the right side of his body. By using both simultaneously, he can thermoregulate and undo both Quirks’ respective weaknesses. This is just bonkers for a superhero considering the massive walls of ice he was able to create even without thermoregulation.

In fact, the only real ‘weakness’ he has is being too strong. Stain noted that Todoroki relies on his destructive power too much. Even so, Todoroki was able to hold his own against the Hero Killer while Midoriya and Iida were incapacitated. In terms of rescue and general heroism, Todoroki’s ice can form structures, slides, and pathways great for creating an escape. He is by far the best in the class and has the most overpowered Quirk. One for All may have a higher maximum power, but the incredible physicality required to use it makes Half Cold Half Hot on balance a better Quirk.

The Best Students of MY HERO ACADEMIA

As we wind down from All Might’s amazing battle with All For One, MY HERO ACADEMIA us entering a somewhat transitional period. Midoriya and his friends will need to continue along the path toward becoming real heroes and getting licensed for combat. Now more than ever, heroes have to be vigilant. All Might’s mere presence led to less crime overall. Now that he is essentially retiring, every student will need to work hard and become as strong a support as possible for the remaining pros out there.

As said before, this list is not absolute fact. Different characters’ strengths are relative and change according to the factors used to evaluate them. If ‘heroism’ were defined by raw power output alone, Midoriya would be a clear top pick while Tsuyu would be closer to the bottom. But, combining considerations of heroic actions like rescues, battle power, and adaptation to a Quirk’s weakness is a good way to holistically look at each of these characters. Hopefully, we’ll see some interesting fluctuations over the remainder of the season as everyone in the class gets more training and impressive moves.

Have your own list? Think someone should be higher or lower? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image from MY HERO ACADEMIA Official Website.

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