Intelligence should be considered a whole separate power on Supernatural, as even immense beings like God and the Darkness have lost out to lesser enemies by being outsmarted. Demons have been shown to survive this long mainly because they’re smarter than angels and other creatures.
In this list, we’ve listed the most powerful demons on the show, but they’ve been ranked in order of their intelligence. This means that while a certain demon might easily have more powers than another, they can still be listed lower because they’re just not as intelligent. You’ll be surprised by the order of rankings seen below, so read on further to find out who gets the top spot.
Being the only one of kind, and with his release being one of the 66 seals holding Lucifer, Samhain was easily one of the most legendary demons ever created. His powers seemed to be greater than that of angels, as they were shown to fear him.
As far as intelligence goes, though, Samhain wasn’t all that bright. He was smart to the extent of having henchman do the deed of releasing him while he was in Hell but other than that it seems his pride was greater. Rather than escape when he saw Sam was immune to his powers, Samhain attempted to fight, resulting in him being sent back to Hell.
Knights of Hell were among the highest levels of demons one can find, but none of them displayed much wit. For Cain, it might be because he was powered by the Mark which housed the Darkness, meaning he didn’t need to do much strategic planning since he was so powerful.
While he was intelligent enough to devise a way to hide from beings from Hell and Heaven for centuries without being detected, Cain made a silly move to fight Dean. Rather than realizing that Dean would have a plan to fight him, Cain went all guns blazing, ending with his death.
While Dean didn’t display any outright intelligent moments in his time as a Knight of Hell, he did have some tactical sense in him. This was seen when he scoped out Cole Trenton when the latter tried to attack, as Dean would play around with him to uncover if Cole had some tricks up his sleeve.
Since he was a Knight of Hell, Dean was the most powerful demon active at the time, and he knew this well enough to challenge Crowley to make a move against him, having anticipated no fight back. Finally, Dean was also smart enough to escape the binds Sam had on him when he realized the demon cure had only partially worked.
Being a Prince of Hell, Ramiel could beat any angel other than the highest ones, and fighting against other beings was laughable to him; he certainly did cackle when confronted by the Winchesters. His smarts came from his knowledge of weaponry.
Although Ramiel wanted to live on his own and didn’t prefer to engage in fights, he was intelligent enough to keep weapons of extreme power like the Lance of Michael and the Colt in his possession. This was probably done to stave off any potential enemies, although he did meet his death with the Lance due to Ramiel’s arrogance overcoming his smarts.
There was more to the Grand Torturer of Hell than meets the eye, as Alastair showed he was more than just a sadistic demon out to dole out a lot of pain. We all know he was extremely powerful, as Alastair handily beat Castiel and had no fear of angels, while being one of the first demons created.
However, he also relied on his intelligence, which was seen when he assumed the forms of well-to-do men to throw off any suspicions that might have come his way to revealing his true identity. Alastair kept his mind working while under torture, as he was able to escape his trap by silently manipulating the environment.
If there was one demon who knew how to utilize her wits with her powers then it would absolutely have to be Dagon. The Prince of Hell could’ve captured Kelly Kline all by herself as she was much more powerful than angels and whatever the Men of Letters had to throw at her, but employed the use of strategy.
Dagon manipulated Kelly by pretending to be a friend while actually leading her on toward Lucifer. When Kelly caught wind of her act, Dagon gathered herself to find the location of the heavenly portal and stage an ambush of the angels to capture Kelly by utilizing her teleportation powers and killing touch. It was only because of Jack’s empowerment that Castiel was able to beat her.
Stealth also falls under the intelligence range since it requires the thinking capacity to dupe those aware of you. Lilith was a master in this aspect, even when she returned a decade after her death. She was able to devise a plan to have Ruby pretend to be Sam’s ally, all to lead him to open up the final seal of Lucifer’s cage.
Lilith expertly fooled Sam and Dean into believing her plans were something other than what she actually had in mind, and would assume the forms of young girls to move into any setting and influence proceedings without being caught. She falls a little lower, though, because of her dumb move to intimidate Michael, which led to her death.
Going from nobody to nightmare after having once been the “runt of the litter” of the Princes of Hell, Asmodeus was easily the most resourceful of the bunch. Despite having been much weaker than the rest of his kind, Asmodeus showed why being smart pays off by becoming the strongest.
He did this by trapping the Archangel Gabriel as his prisoner, consuming pieces of his grace to empower himself to insane levels – Asmodeus even overpowered his creator Lucifer this way! And it was only at the hands of Gabriel himself that he died, not by any other means.
Nobody can argue against the intelligence level of a being who devised plans centuries ahead of time and had them be realized. Azazel, being the most loyal Prince of Hell in Lucifer’s ranks, had multiple schemes in motion, all of which worked one way or another.
He had a slew of demons live around Sam his whole life without him realizing it, he uncovered the opening point to Lucifer’s cage; Azazel hunted down the parents of the Special Children and came up with the plan to bring them together 22 years later. Along with that, he also made a deal for John’s death with the intention of making John break the first seal to the cage.
Yes, he’s easily the weakest in terms of power compared to every other demon on this list and has been responsible for more jokes on the show than anything else, but Crowley still ranks first. That’s because, unlike the other demons, Crowley was so smart that he always came out the victor.
Crowley even went so far as to outsmart Amara, Dick Roman, and Lucifer, while managing to draw the powers of God and other weapons like the Demon tablet. There was no demon ever created that could beat Crowley in a game of wits, and he even took his own life rather than be killed. For this reason, Crowley might be altogether the most powerful demon on the show.
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