Sakura Haruno (Sakura Uchiha) is considered the third and often overlooked, an original member of Team Kakashi (Team 7). However, this isn’t by any fault of her own. When the two other team members who are supposed to be her equals turn into demi-gods, there isn’t much she, or anyone else can really do to catch up.
In this sense, Sakura doesn’t deserve the reputation she’s gotten as useless. Compared to Naruto and Sasuke, just about everyone is useless. The only reason she gets singled out is that she’s the third member of their three-man team.
So, how does she get along with her teammates?
As for Naruto Uzumaki, she originally saw him as someone she needed to babysit due to all of his crazy antics. However, as the series progresses, and Naruto becomes more reliable, Sakura recognizes that not only does she support him, but he’s someone she can rely on to support her as well.
Sakura’s relationship with Sasuke Uchiha is a bit more complicated, but it basically boils down to the fact that she’s completely in love with him to the point of unhealthy obsession. Despite being one of the most critical thinkers in the series, her logic completely breaks down once Sasuke is involved.
However, early on in the series, she begins her slow transition into a more independent character. She previously had long hair because it was rumored that Sasuke preferred girls with longer hair. But, after finding out the hard way that long hair is a detriment in combat, she cuts it to around shoulder-length.
While her relationships with her teammates are complex, her relationships with her teachers are not. In regards to both Kakashi and Tsunade, Sakura simply shows herself to be a good student who can quickly pick up on the concepts she’s taught.
Sakura is an interesting character when it comes to her role in combat. Not only is she a close-combat monster, but she’s also the medic, two roles which don’t typically go together. That said, both of these roles have something in common: chakra control.
Her superhuman strength actually comes from her ability to focus large amounts of chakra into her fists. And, since high-level chakra control is also needed for medical jutsu, this, in turn, means that Sakura is one of the best medics around.
Along with using her chakra control as a weapon and support tool, Sakura is also able to use four different chakra transformations: Earth, Water, Yin, and Yang. But, she’s never said to have a particular affinity for anyone chakra transformation.
As for skills which are more unique to her, she excels at canceling genjutsu (again due to her chakra control), she has a summoning pact with the slugs of Shikkotsu Forest, and she can use the Strength of a Hundred Technique.
Her pact with Shikkotsu Forest means she can summon Katsuyu, and then use the giant slug to increase her healing potential (for others). On the other side of the healing spectrum is the Strength of a Hundred Technique, which drastically increases the rate of her own healing so she can fight on the front lines and make use of her super strength longer.
As a close-combat, support ninja, Sakura doesn’t really have many favorable match-ups. Due to the fact that she’s a medic, she mainly relies on teammates for offensive power while she can focus on healing the wounded. That said, she still packs a punch.
If she can get close enough to her opponent to land one of her devastating punches, she has the ability to end fights in one shot. But, since she’s not the fastest ninja around, this is easier said than done.
If it’s a one-on-one fight, then Sakura is usually going to be at a disadvantage. This is showcased in her fight against Sasori of the Akatsuki. Alone, she can’t get close enough to Sasori to land a hit, but once she teams up with Granny Chiyo and allows Chiyo to control her movements, she’s able to get within range.
But, not only can Sakura not effectively take a fight to ranged opponents, but she also can’t really compete with other close-combat specialists who are faster than she is. Speed is pretty important in the world of Naruto, and if someone can outspeed Sakura, they can generally avoid her attacks.
However, if Sakura has time to plan for a fight, she can be much more effective. Once she has sufficient information on her opponent, she can analyze it and come up with the best course of the attack, something her teammate, Naruto, would never even consider.
So, Sakura doesn’t seem all that well-equipped for combat based on the fact she mostly has bad match-ups and can only win one-on-one fights against opponents slower than her who also use close-combat. But, as I mentioned, her main role is to be the support for her team, not a solo fighter.
Some of the notable teams Sakura has been a part of are Team Kakashi, the Kazekage Rescue Team, the Eight Man Squad, and the Third Division. In all of these cases, her role is generally the same, to be the team medic as well as a more standard fighter when the need arises.
With that said, what team compositions could Sakura be most effective on?
A Sakura-Gaara combo would be pretty good defensively. Gaara really specializes in defense, and so his defensive capabilities combined with Sakura’s regenerative abilities would make for an extremely sturdy combo.
But, what if their “invincible” combo were then complimented by someone like Rock Lee? Lee would focus on attacking, Gaara would focus on defending, and Sakura would focus on healing the team so they could continue to wreak havoc on the battlefield.
The only team composition I would say Sakura isn’t really useful for is a tracking team, like Team 8. She doesn’t add anything to the tracking aspect, and since those teams aren’t meant to really fight head-on, her healing isn’t needed.
But, the one worst teammate for Sakura would have to be Hidan of the Akatsuki. Since he’s already immortal, he has no need for Sakura’s healing. And, even if Sakura came up with a strategy for the two of them to use, it’s unlikely Hidan would follow it.