Naruto once stated that Kakashi was better at devising strategies in comparison to Shikamaru. He also said that Kakashi had better skill with the Sharingan than Sasuke but that is for another time. While many agree with Naruto we are here to look deeper into it. So let us dig in.
Other than the exception of Shikaku, Shikamaru’s father, nobody holds a candle to Shikamaru’s raw intelligence.
Ergo, no one (other than that one exception) can possibly come any close when it comes to strategies or elaborate stratagems.
Kakashi is, without the slightest shred of doubt, a genius, that too with a vast body of knowledge and expertise in walks of shinobi.
Be it combat or a search mission, he can handle it all. He has throughout the series thus shown remarkable feats.
Kakashi battle strategist
Guy remarks “there is no one better than you when it comes to analysis”, this is true to an extent with certain exceptions (Minato was undoubtedly better).
Kakashi isn’t that powerful, but he can use all that he is given and he’ll turn the tables against you.
Kakashi Against Pain
He definitely defeated the strongest body of Pain, he didn’t do all himself, he used all that was available to him. Hell, he even planned Kaguya’s end.
But, do not be misled into thinking that all his genius can be attributed to his intelligence alone. It is a complex interplay of experience, versatility, and intelligence.
- Handled over a thousand missions.
- Served as Anbu leader.
Versatility because :
- Knows over a thousand jutsus.
- Knows lighting release, water release, earth release, fire release, wind release, Yin release, Yang release.
- He can even open at least one of the eight gates.
- He is even well versed in sealing techniques.
Pretty obviously Shikamaru’s cannot hold his own against him with intelligence alone, Kakashi is a better ninja.
But as for intelligence:
- 200 different possible attacks in an instant! It seems highly unlikely that Kakashi can do the same.
- IQ above 200! It seems Shikamaru was really a force to be reckoned with.
If these two excerpts are not enough then we must remember that Kakashi once remarked without hesitation – “We should leave it to Shikamaru.”
Obviously leaving Shikamaru with an Akatsuki member was a revoltingly absurd thought but Kakashi explicitly trusted Shikamaru and his strategies.
It can be said, he trusted him with it to the point that he never bothered devising his own. He carried out with his plan with no questions, nor any suggestions.
Shogi is basically an old Japanese game that involves developing strategies and Shikamaru (barring his father) was unbeaten.
So yes, Shikamaru was better. Overall Kakashi is a better ninja though, but do not be tricked into falling for the semblance of just intelligence. Kakashi was a lot of other things too.
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