|Affiliation||Three Great Powers|
The Yonko (四皇 Four Emperors) are the four most notorious and most powerful pirate captains in the world (by the World Government), but are neither allies nor enemies of one another, preferring to remain autonomous under most circumstances. These four individually reside within the second half of the Grand Line (known as the "New World"), exerting impressive influence/control over dozens of other pirate crews and self-governing islands.
Abilities and PowersEdit
As an entity, the Yonko are one of the three great powers of the world, the others being the Shichibukai and Marines. Their strength and influence are such that they live quite literally as though they are emperors, doing mostly as they please. Individually, they are considered to be the most powerful pirates in the world, as well as having a powerful crew. Because of their power, they can declare chosen locations as their own; the mere declaration is often enough for others, both Marines and pirates alike, to acknowledge their authority. In fact, in the New World, they each have a territory that they govern. These territories benefit from the protection the emperors provide, keeping the borders safe from any faction that might want to invade them. It is only with the combined efforts of the Marines and the Shichibukai, as well as the distrust among them, that keeps their power in check.
The Yonko themselves are not allied together as a coalition compared to the Shichibukai and follow their own individual paths. The possibility of two or more of the Yonko forming an alliance is enough of a threat to cause the World Government to panic, as seen when the World Government attempted unsuccessfully to prevent a meeting between Shanks and Whitebeard at one point in the series. The World Government feared that the two Yonko may unite together and create a stronger threat. A war between two of the Yonko is considered an epic crisis.
Yonko can motivate others to become pirates. On top of this, the influence these pirates have over others is far greater than any other noted group. There are only two methods of surviving in the New World, and that is to be protected serving under the umbrella of a Yonko's dominion or to constantly oppose their authority. Because of their immense power, it is necessary for factions aiming to oppose them to first strike an alliance with other factions in order to bring the Yonko down.