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While Shadow Clones replicate the user's body completely and are thus just as smart (or moronic) as the user, other clones based on elements are simply models constructed out of a particular material animated by chakra.

In the early stages of the story, Zabuza delegates fighting Naruto and Sasuke to a Water Clone. Is there any indication whether it was acting independently, or just executing simple commands from Zabuza himself? Are there examples of other elemental clones functioning without the original present?

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Water clones and other elemental clones are only given the intelligence that the user provides, this is proven when Zabuza gives his own clones orders. The clones act not as their own will but controlled like puppets. This could be googled but I don't trust sources such as those.

Sources: Shadow clone Jitsu and other clone technuiqes

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it works as if a person is projecting himself/herself. The clones created work like replicas. Its like the person itself but when they are hit fataly instead of dying the clones disappear. Notice when Kakashi saves Azuma and Kurenai from Itachi when Itachi returns to the leaf village to abduct Naruto, Kakashi and a clone of himself appeared each behind Azuma and Kurenai. Clones are the same person with the same capabilities (when given equal chakra) and intellect the only thing is they have the physical limits of being a clone.

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  • Please include relevant sources/references to support your answer. – W. Are Jan 4 at 12:06

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