Kurama is one of the main characters of YuYu Hakusho. A lot of people have questions pertaining to how strong Kurama really is. Kurama is amongst the most popular charaters in the series.
Now, Kurama is incredibly sharp and tactful when dealing with enemies. I would say he is one of if not the most intelligent characters in the entire series. He is extremely analytical when battling enemies. This is one of the reasons why he is able to overcome adversity in nearly impossible situations and win against the opponent.
He has several different skillsets to use in battle. I would say he has good hand to hand combat skills although it is not his specialty as he uses them the least compared to other characters. He has great speed and agility along with a lot of pain tolerance and durability.
His weapons are plant based and he uses a variety plants to defeat enemies in battle. Overall, he is extremely adept and skillful as a fighter.
How does he rank among the elite characters?
Now, in the last arc of YuYu Hakusho, Kurama in his human form is considered to be a lower S class character. While Yoko Kurama ie the demon version of Kurama is considered to be an upper S class character. The gap between lower S class and upper S class characters is more than lower S class and lower E class characters.
According to different sources, Kurama is put at different levels in terms of power. Some sources put him in the upper A category while some place him at the S/upper S category.
Sensui is considered to be a lower S class character and he seems to easily defeat Kurama after Kurama enters the demon world in Yoko’s form. However, the transformation of Kurama from human to demon is only a change in appearance upon entering the demon world and not a real transformation to Yoko Kurama. So, the form of Kurama that is battling Sensui along with Hiei and Kuwabara is not really Yoko. Kurama and Hiei both when battling Sensui are A class demons.
Interestingly Kuwabara with the dimensional sword is considered to be a lower S class fighter in the manga, and in the anime only manages to reach the middle A class level. Toguro in the Dark Tournament arc is supposed to be an upper B class demon. So, most likely all the protagonists at the end of the arc including Kuwabara could’ve probably defeated him.
Yoko Kurama is perhaps the toughest fighter in the Dark Tournament Arc and should’ve defeated Toguro had he faced him one on one whether you consider him to be an A class or an S class fighter.
Kurama looses to Kujou in the 3rd round, although I believe he didn’t use his Yoko Kurama form in that particular battle. Yomi has high regards for Yoko Kurama in terms of combat ability.
Yoko Kurama is only seen battling twice apart from Ura Urashima which he completely dominates in the anime. One is during his fight with Karasu and the other one being against Shigure. He nearly manages to kill Karasu and is transformed back to human form. The same happens in Shigure fight. I believe Kurama did look like Yoko in his fight against Sensui, but it was not really Yoko fighting Sensui. You can notice that the transformation of Kurama from human to demon version is quite drastic takes a lot of time, unlike what happens prior to his fight with Sensui.
To be honest, we don’t get to see Yoko fighting a proper battle as both the times(against Shigure and Karasu) he is transformed back to his human version. Also, Kurama probably didn’t transform to Yoko his demon version while fighting Kujou as Kurama decided not to use that form again. So, he is yet to loose a battle.
I would say Yoko Kurama is definitely an upper S class demon, however I would place him below Raizen, Mukuro and Yomi. Yusuke, Raizen’s friends and Hiei too can also be considered to be stronger than Yoko Kurama although it is not really certain as to who would win in a battle if Yoko fought against any of these characters.
Overall, I would say Yoko Kurama is the most calculating and strategic fighter in the series. He might not be that strong in terms of raw strength or power, but he is definitely among the top characters in YuYu Hakusho and can definitely pose a threat to the strongest characters in YuYu Hakusho.