Naruto Uzumaki, being the titular protagonist of his series, probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. He’s loud, he’s hardheaded, and he wants to be Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. However, there’s much more to him than just these three points.
He’s also the orphaned child of the 4th Hokage and was shunned by his village as a child for having the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit, Kurama, sealed inside him. But, while Kurama was a curse for Naruto during the beginning of his life, he later became one of Naruto’s biggest strengths. And, not only did Naruto’s relationship with Kurama change over time but he as a character changed as well. At the beginning of the series, he’s pulling pranks around the village, and by the time we get to Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, he’s become the 7th Hokage.
So how did he get there? Well, it wasn’t alone. Naruto’s real strength comes in his ability to make others gravitate towards him. His friends are the reason he got to where he is today, with some of the more notable ones being Sakura Haruno, Sasuke Uchiha, Iruka Umino, Kakashi Hatake, and Jiraiya.
Sakura and Sasuke are the first two teammates Naruto had as a member of Team Kakashi (Team 7), and are also his closest friends. Iruka, Kakashi, and Jiraiya, on the other hand, are all Naruto’s teachers. Iruka was the first one to believe in him, Kakashi was the leader of his genin team, and Jiraiya was his godfather and personal trainer.
Naruto Uzumaki is pretty unique in that he can use all five basic nature chakra types, three different Kekkei Genkai, as well as Yin, Yang, and Yin-Yang release. However, for the majority of the series, he can either use no chakra type or just Wind release, which he has an affinity for. As for his Kekkei Genkai, these are Lava, Magnet, and Boil release, but none of them are genuinely his own. Instead, they come from pieces of the tailed beasts which were sealed inside him. Likewise, the Yin-Yang release is thanks to Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki sharing some of his chakras with Naruto.
But, despite having all of these different chakra natures at his disposal, we typically only see Naruto uses three different jutsu: Shadow Clone, Rasengan, and Wind Rasenshuriken. Even as an adult, when he gets serious, he tends to opt for his tailed beast mode rather than any of his non-signature jutsu.
So, what is this tailed beast mode? It’s the defining ability Naruto has at his disposal, which is hard to believe considering how prominent his Shadow Clone and Rasengan are. But, unlike the Shadow Clone and Rasengan jutsu, Naruto’s tailed beast mode is unique to him. By calling upon Kurama’s chakra, Naruto can enhance his combat abilities to the extreme. He becomes faster, stronger, and can use jutsu so powerful that no mere mortal should be able to. When in this mode, he can also use tailed beast chakra as a pseudo-chakra nature, creating jutsu like the Tailed Beast Ball Rasenshuriken.
And, finally, Naruto also has a summoning pact with the toads of Mount Myōboku. Due to this summoning pact, he’s able to summon giant toads such as Gamabunta and Gamakichi. Thanks to this pact, and the training he did at Mount Myōboku, he’s also able to use sage jutsu.
Considering his wide range of skills and his overwhelming chakra reserves thanks to the tailed beasts, you might expect Naruto to have no bad match-ups. But, this isn’t the case. Naruto and his fighting style have a lot of bad match-ups, but he’s able to power through them due to his god-like strength.
One of the most notable bad match-ups for Naruto is versus Sasuke Uchiha. Technically speaking, Naruto has won the majority of their fights that mattered, but this doesn’t mean they were easy victories. Almost everything about their two fighting styles gives an advantage to Sasuke.
Naruto is a close-combat fighter, even when he has the Wind Rasenshuriken at his disposal. This means that unless he can get close to his opponent, there isn’t all that much he can do. On the other hand, Sasuke has a wide variety of long-range, offensive skills at his disposal, as well as some pretty formidable close-combat jutsu.
But, ranged attacks aren’t Naruto’s only weakness. He’s also reasonably weak against any jutsu which decreases his mobility. If he’s immobile, then he can’t get close enough to his opponent for his jutsu to matter. This means the Shadow Paralysis would also be effective against him as long as the jutsu lands.
And, while he’s competent at taijutsu, this isn’t his specialty. Someone who excels at taijutsu like Might Guy or Rock Lee would probably have a decent match-up against Naruto too. In those cases, he would have to try attacking from a distance, and as stated, that’s not his specialty.
As for what Naruto has good match-ups against, it would be everything else. If his opponent doesn’t have high-level ranged jutsu, binding jutsu, or taijutsu, then there’s not much they can do against him. Even genjutsu, which was once one of his biggest weaknesses, is useless against him thanks to Kurama’s chakra.
Since he’s effectively a jack-of-all-trades, there aren’t many team compositions that Naruto wouldn’t be useful in. However, there’s one notable composition he isn’t suited for, and there’s one notable composition he is.
First, the team type Naruto isn’t much help in, tracking. Teams that specialize in tracking, like Team 8 (Shino, Hinata, Kiba, and Akamaru) or later Team 15 (Wasabi, Namida, and Sumire) have no real need for Naruto’s abilities because combat isn’t their purpose.
However, the one team that Naruto excels as a part of is when he’s paired with Sasuke. More than any other pairing, Sasuke is the #1 best for Naruto because together they can use the Six Paths Chibaku Tensei technique with their Yin-Yang release. This is the ultimate sealing jutsu which they used on Kaguya Ōtsutsuki and only works with the two of them.
But, due to his overwhelming power, Naruto is still a great member to have on just about any team.