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No, NPC-Illyria is the strongest, you know, prior to her power drain. But I suppose you said Buffy. The problem is that Adam was only defeated by Merged Buffy, which is definitely Buffy’s strongest form, whereas Caleb still had trouble with Spike and Angel. Now, we know that Buffy get’s a power boost of some kind from the Ax, we just don’t know how much. But not as much from the Merger. So, I would have to say, Adam. But, Caleb is a close second.
Caleb was definitely skilled as far as his butt kicking skills. No one can deny his power after that one punch that sent Buffy flying across the vineyard in "Dirty Girls". I also felt like he got stronger whenever he merged with The First, so he's strong but he still needs a sponsor. My vote for strongest enemy or Big Bad would be Glory, IMO. She was a god, for god's sake. She gave Buffy a run for her money the entire season while Glory was out buying shoes. She was the only villain Buffy ever ran away from. Like literally, let's pack our bags and get out of dodge run away. She was infinitely more powerful than Buffy and both her and Glory knew that. Plus, I believe she is the only main villain on the show that Buffy didn't technically kill, since it was Giles that smothered Ben/Glory to death.
Physically strongest= Glory for all the wonderfully stated reasons above
Emotionally strongest= Angelus, he got inside Buffy in a way no other villain could. For goodness sakes, after all Angelus is just a vampire, should have been an easy dust for a slayer as strong as Buffy. But she couldn't kill the vampire wearing the face of the man she loved. Angelus knew just how to toy with her. So he had a different kind of strength on his side than actual physical strength like the other big bads.
It is very close. Technically it is Glory but she was a god. In terms of enemies that are close to mortal I think he wins. I have never actually heard Buffy ask "how many times do I have to kill you? Ballpark figure?"
To any of her other opponents.
Illyria and Glory are the strongest for me, in the begining Caleb seems to be a a good adversary, but later he´s defeated so "easy", i think the character needed more development, he should have been introduce in the first episodes of S7
I think that it would be a toss up between Glory and Caleb, and I would definitely pay a premium price to see those two square off. Of course, if the First Evil could have somehow become corporeal, it would be far more dangerous that Caleb and Glory combined.
I dunno, Caleb was kinda dumb if you ask me. Beating Buffy unconscious and then leaving her alive for no reason, leading her to the vinyard- the location of the super-secret slayer weapon and the one place that he didn't want Buffy to go/find out about, plus just being an alround mysogonist which meant he seemed to continually underestimate what a slayer could do in a fight.
Glory seemed all round more focused and powerful. And Angelus was smarter/scarier/more sadistic.