Deidara holds the belief that "art" is the moment in which something that has form is destroyed. In order to pursue this view, as well as to apply it towards combat, he stole a kinjutsu passed down in Iwagakure that allows its user to knead chakra into materials. Deidara feeds clay to one of his body's mouths – most commonly the mouth on his left palm – giving them shape and turning them into explosives. The power and type of explosion is determined by the chakra that he applies to the clay. In Akatsuki Hiden, the quality of the clay is also an important consideration, as inferior clays won't take the exact form that Deidara intends nor will their detonation be as impressive. The white clay used in Ceramic Village for Hanasaki ceramics is the best clay Deidara has found.
The explosives are initially palm-sized, making them easy to prepare in advance and then carry into combat. To make practical use of them, however, it is necessary that Deidara enlarge them. This in turn brings the clay creation to life, which Deidara can control remotely depending on how large it was made: an average-sized bird can be sent flying at an opponent as an attack; a large bird can be used as a form of transportation, and once he reaches his destination he can send it flying at an opponent as an attack. To detonate the clay, he makes the Seal of Confrontation and says "katsu" (喝).
Because Deidara relies on his clay to make his explosives, running out of clay severely limits his options in battle. Low chakra reserves also place Deidara at a disadvantage, as his mouths will struggle to shape the clay into usable forms. Deidara's clay is all earth-based, meaning that opponents can defuse the explosives with Lightning Release.
Deidara ranks his clay by number, similar in fashion to the Composition C line of explosives:
- C1: Deidara's weakest explosive, these most often take the form of birds or insects. They are usually kept at a small size, making them ideal for sneak attacks or other covert operations. C1 is produced using one of the mouths in Deidara's palms.
- C2: a large, flight-capable dragon. Deidara rides atop it while it fires "smart bombs", smaller dragons that pursue their targets. The dragon also produces clay mines, which are used to force opponents to fight in a limited space. C2 is produced using both of the mouths in Deidara's palm.
- C3: a roughly human-shaped statue that Deidara drops on targets from above. They are designed to specifically maximise their destructive power, which is supposed to be great enough to destroy an entire village.
- C4: a giant doll, shaped like Deidara himself. When it ruptures, it releases a cloud of microscopic bombs, too small to be seen. When these bombs are inhaled, they flood the victim's bloodstream and detonate, destroying them at a cellular level. C4 is created using Deidara's normal mouth.
- C0: Deidara's "Ultimate Art" (究極芸術, Kyūkyoku Geijutsu). Deidara draws in chakra from every corner of his body to turn himself into a bomb. Everything within ten kilometers is destroyed, but Deidara dies in the process. C0 is created using the mouth on Deidara's chest, which is connected directly to his heart.
- Katsu (喝) is a type of shout that is used in Zen Buddhism to stop the discursive thoughts of practitioners, potentially helping them achieve an enlightenment experience. It is also used as a means of focusing energy.
- In the English dub, Deidara's cry of "katsu" is omitted with a mere grunt instead.
- Naruto referred to the Explosive Clay as a kinjutsu of Iwagakure.
- Shō no Sho, page 10
- Sha no Sho, pages 244-245
- Naruto chapter 359, page 6
- Sha no Sho, page 105
- Naruto chapter 248, page 3
- Naruto chapter 249, page 15
- Naruto chapter 356, pages 9-10
- Naruto chapter 249, page 2
- Naruto chapter 361, page 4
- Naruto chapter 361, pages 13-14
- Naruto chapter 357, pages 10-11
- Naruto chapter 357, page 15
- Naruto chapter 359, pages 16-17
- Sha no Sho, page 262
- Boruto episode 78