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"Opulence is sinful, and we all pay for it. Los Angeles was the flagship of their absurd materialism, so I destroyed it. They thought I wanted to kill the president. Madame Presidentè, I could have buried you a million times over... No... I wanted you to see it, to feel what it's like. Today, two billion people exist in abject misery, tyrannized by war. Madame Presidentè, your war machines are no more. Your military is crippled. You cannot stop us now. Cordis Die, rise, and strike when they are down. Strike now, and strike deep!"
— "Judgment Day" broadcast of Raul Menendez, Black Ops II
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In the world of Call of Duty, these brilliant masterminds exemplify badassery using ingenuity and charisma, rather than guns.

Entries are listed in alphabetical order.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!


Black Ops series
  • Original game: Victor Reznov is a charismatic soldier for the Russian Red Army who drove the Nazi's out of Stalingrad and lead the charge to Berlin during World War II, showing utter ruthlessness to his enemies while inspiring loyalty from his allies. After being betrayed by his superior Nikita Dragovich, Reznov would plot his revenge against Dragovich and his cohorts for killing his friends. Getting himself locked up in the Russian gulag Vorkuta, Reznov would orchestrate a prison-break and sacrifice himself so Alex Mason can escape. It would be revealed that Reznov brainwashed Alex Mason to kill all of his enemies, appearing in his mind to guide him throughout, successfully using the American soldier to complete his revenge.
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  • Black Ops II: Raul Menendez is the charismatic leader of Cordis Die, who worked his way up to becoming one of the most powerful drug kingpins in the world, grabbing the attention of the CIA who sent a black ops team to deal with, greatly underestimating him. Now knowing of the CIA Menendez planted moles inside, while expanding his empire to arms dealing, trading weapons to the Soviet Union and other anti-capitalist insurgents. Vowing vengeance on those who killed his sister, Menendez manipulates Frank Woods with a captive Jason Hudson into shooting, possibly killing, Alex Mason before crippling Woods and killing Hudson himself. He would use his wealth to create advance weaponry and private armies, and the Celerlium worm which he use to drain the Chinese Stock Market, pinning the deed on the United States and starting a second Cold War. He would allow himself to be captured by American Forces taking him to the U.S.S. Obama where he would have his soldiers ambush them before using the Celerlium worm to take control of the military drones, decimating the Obama fleet in the process. Using the hacked drones to distract American forces, he would then destroy them before revealing his true plan; crippling the U.S. military so all his followers in Cordis Die can wreak havoc throughout America, succeeding by goading David Mason to kill him, making Menendez a martyr.
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  • Black Ops III: "Nightmares" campaign: Dolos is the demigoddess of trickery who actions prove why she earned such a title. Being brought to Earth from Malum by the SP/CORVUS experiments conducted by Coalescence in Singapore, along with her brother Deimos, she schemes against Deimos when he plans to turn all of humanity into an undead army to conquer Malum. Dolos would posses Kane and through her convince Soldier #25954 and Hendricks to kill Taylor and his team possessed by Deimos before Deimos proceeds to posses Hendricks. Upon arriving at Zurich, Dolos convinces Soldier #25954 to let Deimos open the portal to Malum before trapping them both in Malum. With Deimos now vulnerable in Malum, Dolos helps Soldier #25954 kill her brother before revealing her plan to kill off every demigod and supernatural being that opposes her, successfully persuading the soldier into helping Dolos accomplish this goal.
  • Cold War:
    • CIA agent Russell Adler is the head of a black ops squad out to stop Perseus' plan at all costs. Willing to murder and torture to stop the Soviets from activating nukes across Europe, Adler has Perseus' severely wounded second-in-command implanted with false memories and renamed "Bell" to be used to track down Perseus. Mentally torturing Bell into reliving a series of distorted memories once time's running out, should Bell side with Adler and stop Perseus, Adler summons Bell to personally kill them to tie up loose ends. Even if Bell betrays Adler and has the Soviets gun him and his squad down, Adler shows defiance against Bell even when he's on the verge of death.
    • "Perseus" is a rogue Soviet Union agent who seeks to increase his country's power. Stealing the detonation codes for Operation Greenlight, which will involve initiating a series of American neuron bombs planted in European soil, Perseus plans to activate the bombs and kill millions, with America taking the brunt of the blame while the SU will rise as a global superpower. Perseus is able to remain hidden throughout the game, getting away with killing his own scientists after they successfully reverse engineer the bombs to activate upon his command. Anticipating his former associate Bell regaining their memories, Perseus launches a successful ambush against Adler's men should Bell choose to side with the Soviets, even allowing his former comrade to activate the bombs and secure victory.

Modern Warfare

  • Modern Warfare 2: General Hershel von Shepherd is the commander of the US forces and the true Big Bad. Having lost 30,000 soldiers from a nuke detonated from the Middle East, Shepherd felt that the free people has taken the military's sacrifices for granted. Vowing to remind the world of the cost of their freedom, Shepherd collaborated with Vladmir Makarov in creating World War III, giving him the identity of Private Joseph Allen, resulting in Makarov killing the private in the middle of the airport massacre. This resulted in America being invaded by Russian Armies in which the U.S. has given Shepherd command of millions of soldiers, while he leads Task Force 141 to search for Makarov. Encountering Captain Price during the manhunt, Price would launch a submarine nuke, which Shepherd would pin this act on Makarov and receive a blank check to aid the search. Pin-pointing Markarov's whereabouts to two locations Shepherd splits the Task Force into two before sending the Shadow Company to kill them off once they served their purpose. When Shepherd learns that Price and Soap are in his base, he arranges said base to self-destruct. Even when Price and Soap survive the attempt and go after him, Shepherd isn't afraid to die because he'll be remembered as a war hero while they will be branded as fugitives wanted for killing him.

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