Naruto losing Kurama in Boruto takes a heavy toll on his chakra reserves and as a result, Naruto loses his efficiency with the shadow clone jutsu.
The most tragic thing to happen in Boruto so far is death of the nine-tailed fox, Kurama, which deprived Naruto of two of his most powerful abilities in addition to his longtime ally. The beast gave his life in Boruto chapter 55 granting Naruto a one-time, limited power that was used to help take down Isshiki Otsutsuki. In terms of the narrative structure, the idea behind Kurama’s death was to nerf Naruto, and it’s worked better than most fans might have realized. Not only has Naruto lost the ability of the chakra mode, but without the massive chakra reserves of Kurama, Naruto’s shadow clones have also taken a heavy hit.
The shadow clone jutsu has been a part of Naruto’s arsenal since the very beginning of his self-titled manga. The jutsu itself is forbidden due to careless overuse, draining the user’s chakra to the point of death, but because of Kurama’s abundant source of chakra, Naruto can use it without too much concern. By the end of the original Naruto manga series, Naruto is capable of creating more than 1,000 shadow clones at one time, where most people max out at three or four.
But now that Kurama is gone, Naruto’s shadow clones aren’t the efficient tools they were in the past. He can no longer summon them haphazardly and will have to change his entire battle strategy going forward. As Hokage, he’s probably aware of this, but every fight involving Naruto will play out a lot differently. It should be interesting to see whether or not Naruto comes up with new tactics, or if his reliance on chakra modes and shadow clones will prove to be his downfall. Hopefully, it’s the former, and fans get to see new spins (pun intended) on Rasengan and Sage Mode.
Losing the shadow clone jutsu efficiency also has downsides outside of combat. As learned during the Rasen Shuriken training arc, the memories and experience of a shadow clone are transferred to the caster after their dispersal. This makes training a whole lot faster and easier. The retaining aspect came in handy during the Fourth Great Ninja War, where Naruto was able to be present on all fronts. It has also been used now to monitor everything going on in Konoha without Naruto having to leave his office. The latter will probably see a cut back as Naruto prioritizes which areas need the most attention.
Naruto losing Kurama in Boruto was bad enough, but realizing that this means shadow clones are nerfed too really drives the point home. Here’s to hoping that nothing happens to Naruto‘s Rasengan, or anything else in jutsu arsenal as a result of the death of Kurama in Boruto.
More: Naruto: Every Version Of The Rasengan Explained (Including Boruto’s)