Demon Slayer's "Breathing Styles" are swordsmanship styles based on an esoteric form of breath-work. The idea is that with a specific amount of oxygen and the right inhaling patterns, a swordsman unlocks their highest physical potential. Using these techniques in battle allows the Demon Slayers to enhance their abilities to superhuman levels, helping them combat supernatural foes.

This breath framework can trace its origins back to Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the creator of the first Breathing Style known as the Sun Breath. Over the generations, swordsmen have modified this particular technique to fit their individual traits better, giving us subsequent breathing styles like wind, stone, water, flame, etc.

More often than not, when a Demon Slayer struggles to utilize a Breathing Style, they create a new one that combines the elements of multiple pre-existing techniques. For example, Shinobu derived her Insect Breathing from her Sister's Flower Breath, and Inosuke developed his Beast Breathing from the Wind Breath.

It can be argued that no Breathing Style in Demon Slayer is superior to the rest; each style is dependent on the user's body and strength, and a swordsman paired with the wrong breathing style will fail to reach their potential (no matter how strong the breathing style or swordsman is).

That being said, based on the manga, we were able to come up with a rough sketch of what the power ranking might look like. Feel free to debate more on this, but for now, here's a list of the strongest Breathing Styles known in the Demon Slayer universe!

14. Flower Breathing

Flower Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Kanae Kocho, Kanao Tsuyuri
  • Total Forms: 7
  • Tier: Lower-Tier

Derived from Water Breathing, the Flower Breath replicates the beauty and grace of fruits and flowers in its attacks.

This style can deal equal damage to both the user and the opponent, depending on the form. Its final form, the Equinoctial Vermilion Eye, grants its users kinetic vision, allowing them to perceive the battle in slow-motion and enhance their counterattack.

Sadly, the tremendous strain from this technique can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to rupture, rendering its user blind.

13. Love Breathing

Love Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Mitsuri Kanroji
  • Total Forms: 6
  • Tier: Lower-Tier

Mitsuri altered the Flame Breathing to suit her unique body composition, resulting in the Love Breath. The style is famously based on the different feelings of love and is composed of long-distance whip attacks and a few mid-range attacks.

It's tough to determine just how strong the Love Breathing Style is. Mitsuri's incredible strength and unique muscle composition make it look like a powerful style, but even she could not do much under the Infinity Castle's harsh conditions.

The fact that she's the sole user begs the question: how strong would it be in another user's hands? Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing, so we have no choice but to rank the Love Breath among the lower tiers.

12. Insect Breathing

Insect Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Kocho Shinobu
  • Total Forms: 4
  • Tier: Lower-Tier

The Insect Breathing Style is a mixture of the Water and Flower Breath, and instead of slicing through demons, it inflicts poisonous stings on them. The style also has 4 forms, each of which replicates the movements of an Insect, allowing Shinobu to land multiple blows in a single attack.

Shinobu created this style to compensate for her physical limits. Since she lacks the physical strength to behead demons, she relies heavily on wisteria-based poisons to kill them.

Most attacks in this style focus on stabbing and making shallow cuts instead of cutting the demon in half. The katana is specifically designed with a "needle-like tip," resembling a bee's stinger, to aid poison injection.

As unique as it is, the limitations of this style are rather obvious. Again, we have no idea how it might perform with another user, but from what we can tell, it's far from the best Breathing Style.

11. Serpent Breathing

Serpent Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Obanai Iguro
  • Total Forms: 5
  • Tier: Mid-Tier

Iguro's Serpent Breath, a derivative of the Water Breath, focuses on in-direct attacks. He uses twisted blades (similar to a Keris Sword) to mimic the slithering movements of snakes, confusing his opponent on where his next attack might land.

It's a very impressive Breathing Style, but its effectiveness is entirely thanks to Iguro's skills as a swordsman. Another Slayer won't be half as effective with it, making it one of the mid-tier styles.

Also Read: The Hashira Ranked From Weakest to Strongest

10. Beast Breathing

Beast Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Inosuke Hashibira
  • Total Forms: 11
  • Tier: Mid-Tier

Inosuke's erratic Beast Breathing is based on the Wind Breathing Style. As you can guess, the technique replicates the movements of wild animals in nature, making it highly unstable and unpredictable.

This style consists of a lot of close-range, animalistic attacks. But the 7th form, Spatial Awareness, focuses on the user's sense of touch to mimic an animal's primal senses. It was so powerful that Inosuke could determine the position of his enemies and their weaknesses only by feeling the disturbances in the air.

9. Mist Breathing

Mist Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Muichiro Tokito
  • Total Forms: 6 (Plus Muichiro's 7th Form, "Obscuring Clouds")
  • Tier: Mid-Tier

Another sub-style of the Wind Breath, Mist Breathing, works by creating clouds of confusion on the battlefield. Like mist obscuring vision, the user moves in a unique pattern that dulls the opponent's senses.

The attacks are usually swift and highly unpredictable, making the opponent feel like invisible attackers surround them in a dark room. The users often wear long and loose clothes to hide their movements from everyone, adding an extra layer of difficulty.

The Mist Breath perfectly compliments Muichiro's fighting style, though we imagine that any Slayer would perform well enough with it - if they can learn it, that is.

8. Thunder Breathing

Thunder Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Zenitsu Agatsuma, Jigoro Kuwajima, Kaigaku
  • Total Forms: 6 (Plus Zenitsu's 7th Form, "Honoikazuchi no Kami")
  • Tier: Upper Mid-Tier

A direct descendent of the Sun Breath, the Thunder Breathing Style is one of the most visually exciting breathing techniques in the KNY universe.

Zenitsu explained that the style focused on "channeling strength in the user's legs and maximizing the output of every single muscle." This manifests as lightning speed in the swordsman and gives their attacks a thunderous effect. It's noted that Thunder Style form mimics lightning so perfectly that you can feel the air buzzing with electricity.

Based on what we've seen of Jigoro and Zenitsu, the Thunder Breath is one of the hardest styles to master, but it's also equally powerful. It might not be the strongest, but it stands out even among the best.

7. Sound Breathing

Sound Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Tengen Uzui
  • Total Forms: 5
  • Tier: Upper Mid-Tier

Tengen modified the Thunder Breath to accommodate his Musical Score (a technique where he deconstructs his opponent's movements into a rhythm sheet and uses it to predict their next move), resulting in the birth of the Sound Breath.

The style involves replicating the disorienting effect of loud sounds. Most attacks combine extremely fast movements with explosives to deal maximum damage. Like Shinobu's poison, the explosives are specifically created to combat Upper-Rank demons.

So far in the series, there hasn't been a single demon who survived an encounter with the Sound Breath User. Gyutaro and Daki were a close call, but Tengen's flamboyance remained victorious.

While we don't have enough information to scale this style correctly, it's not a stretch to say that it leans towards being one of the stronger ones.

6. Water Breathing

Water Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Giyu Tomioka, Kamado Tanjiro, Sakonji Urokodaki, Sabito, Makomo, Murata
  • Total Forms: 10 (Plus Giyu's 11th Form, "Dead Calm")
  • Tier: High-Tier

Water Breath is one of the most common styles due to it being the easiest for beginners. It's part of the first generation of sub-styles to emerge out of the Sun Breath, and based on what multiple users have demonstrated, it is one of the strongest Breathing Styles in Demon Slayer.

This style comprises long and short-distance attacks and offers a wide range of forms to choose from. Though we see Tanjiro modify the pre-existing techniques to create variations and merge his Sun Breathing Style, Water Breathing on its own has shown incredible range in the series, leading us to believe it's one of the stronger styles.

Also Read: What Caused Tanjiro To Awaken His Demon Slayer Mark?

5. Flame Breathing

Flame Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Kyojuro Rengoku, Shinjuro Rengoku
  • Total Forms: 9 (Including The Rengoku Family's Exclusive Form)
  • Tier: High-Tier

Users of the Flame Breath visualize themselves as violent flames. The attacks are usually singular strikes performed from a high stance, and the swordsmen seemingly manipulate flames with the sword's movement.

The best demonstration of the Flame Breath was in the Mugen Train arc, where we saw Kyojuro battle Akaza one-on-one. The attacks were fast, precise, and deep. And though it wasn't enough to defeat Upper-Rank 3, the battle proved just how strong the Flame Breath is.

4. Stone Breathing

Stone Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Gyomei Himejima
  • Total Forms: 5
  • Tier: High-Tier

As the name suggests, the Stone Breath utilizes the ground beneath the user for sturdier attacks. The style specializes in both offense and defense, and based on what we've seen, we know it can shatter the ground without much effort.

Of course, this style's dramatic strength in the manga was mostly thanks to Gyomei's massive physique. We don't know how effective this Breathing Style would be with someone less physically capable, and the popular guess is that it wouldn't be half as powerful.

3. Wind Breathing

Wind Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Sanemi Shinazugawa, Masachika Kumeno
  • Total Forms: 9
  • Tier: High-Tier

Wind Breath is an offensive Breathing Style that focuses on replicating torpedoes in swordwork. The swordsmanship style used is heavily influenced by Jigen-ryū and emphasizes the importance of the first strike.

Sanemi makes the most of the feral nature of this particular style. While all 9 forms are powerful, the 7th form (called "Gale - Sudden Gusts") is incredibly impressive. It allows the user to create strong winds to shred the opponent to pieces. This style's wide range and attack power automatically give it an edge compared to the others.

Also Read: Best Fights & Action Scenes on Demon Slayer, Ranked!

2. Moon Breathing

Moon Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Kokushibo
  • Total Forms: 16
  • Tier: Top-Tier

Moon Breathing is exclusive to the Upper-Rank 1 demon Kokushibo. As a human, Kokushibo tried to learn the Sun Breath from Yoriichi but soon realized that he wasn't strong enough to master the style. So he created one of the first sub-styles of the Sun Breath and, over the centuries, combined his Blood Demon Arts with the Moon Breathing Style to perfect over 16 forms.

Kokushibo can create crescent moon-shaped blades from his sword using his Blood Demon Arts. These weapons have proven deadly in battle, making the Moon Breathing Style the second strongest technique in Demon Slayer.

1. Sun Breathing

Sun Breathing Style
  • Known Users: Yoriichi Tsugikuni, Sumiyoshi, Kamado Tanjiro, Kamado Tanjuro
  • Total Forms: 12 (Plus Yoriichi's Unnamed 13th Form)
  • Tier: Top-Tier

The Sun Breath is the strongest Breathing Style on Demon Slayer. It's the oldest Breathing Style in existence, from which all subsequent styles like Wind and Water emerged. The technique mirrors the sun's violent power and has no fixed pattern, making it the most versatile style out of the 14 on this list.

Though there are 12 forms, Yoriichi developed an unnamed 13th form designed specifically to kill Muzan. The form requires the user to perform all 12 techniques in rapid succession to target the 12 vital organs in Muzan's body. Needless to say, the Demon Slayer Corps' victory depends on Tanjiro's ability to master this form.

Read Next: How to Watch Demon Slayer in Order

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