I'm not going to take Blackbeard at his word because he is extremely naive in certain ways. Of course not as bad as Luffy, but Whitebeard still easily cuts him significantly not that much earlier. Him talking smack before even learning how to use the Gura Gura abilities should be taken with a grain of salt since he's on a power high. Blackbeard's word is not going to trump Oda's word.
This is why I don't like to power-scale Blackbeard because eventually everything comes to his personalitis.
Blackbeard has multiple personalities and as far as I know he has three personalities: Coward/weak, Brave/Strong, Smart/Sneaky... So essentially his strength depends on his personalty, he is in, at the time. Blackbeard's multiple personalities is a realy good way to hide his true strength, and as matter of fact Oda actually said in the story (through Shanks) that Blackbeard has been hiding his true strenght from everyone.
Shanks is literally saying Whitbeard that Blackbeard is way stronger than he tinks he is, and uses his scar as indication of Blackbeard's true strength saying "and it wasn't because I was careless, do you know what that means?"meaning that Blackbeard is way stronger than Whitbeard thought he was, but at the same time he says this "once he had enough power, he made his move" meaning, that he wasn't as strong as legendary Whitbeard himself, then, there's the question when they fought against each other, maybe Shanks has become stronger since then. From what I can tell Shanks and Blackbeard were always around the same level: they fought against each other when they were kidds, they fought against each other in their teens (I would assume so) and Blackbeard managed to scar Shanks (and it wasn't some kind of cheap shot according to Shanks himself), and now, when they both are in their mid 40s (Shanks is 39 and Blackbeard is 40), they both have Yonko title. Yes, Blackbeard became an Emperor only after he ate a DF, but Shanks himself became an Emperor only 6 years ago which means that both of them were always very close in strength and that's what Shanks was trying to tell Whitbeard, he was trying to warn him about that.
Just for the record, I said that "I'm not saying he's already that strong, I'm just saying that he can be thanks to thoes abilities" so let's concentrate on future Blackbeard who we both agree will be more powerful than Kaido.
We have already been shown Blackbeard taking it easy while his execs are still training and getting used to their new powers. Yet, Kaidou was still mentioned as the strongest in the world (pretty sure the Blackbeard scenes were older than Oda's comments). So I would agree that there are still aspects to make Blackbeard power up. One aspect is the best/top tier zoan (which matches the Jolly Roger aspect). Even without this, he doesn't have an awakening either, and this is the bigger power up.
I mean of corse his crew is still becoming stronger whiteout any questions, I'd also agree that Kaido, as of right now is stronger than Blackbeard, but I also would say that Shanks is also weaker than both Kaido and Whitbeard (even though by small margin).
if he was already stronger than Kaidou or Big Mom (especially Big Mom since the rest of her crew is weak) he would wage war and get the Road Poneglyphs to work toward his goal of becoming Pirate King.
the same can be said on opposite direction, if Blackbeard was weaker than Kaido or Big Mom then they would wage war against him (inexperienced Yonko) and take his territories, especially Shanks who views him as a big threat. Blackbeard wasn't dethroned by any of the Yonko (who are hungry for power and territories) for two years, that can't be taken lightly... When Luffy was called "the 5th Emperor of the sea" no one took him seriously unlike Blackbeard, even though both Luffy and Blackbeard obtained the title after they defeated a YC. Shanks himself, who had a great opportunity to team up with Whitbeard's pirates and kill Blackbeard, still didn't do so.
he would wage war and get the Road Poneglyphs to work toward his goal of becoming Pirate King.
Unlike Luffy, Blackbeard wants first to become the strongest in the world both by military power and his own personal power, so no wars from Blackbeard. Also even if he was the strongest in the world he still wouldn't go on war, but rather come up with some sneaky plan, that's what Blackbeard is.
I have a different take on his "weakness". He only feels the pain, but takes zero damage. The Yami Yami ability is still a logia, but he is unable to become complete darkness. Yes, there are displayed blood/damage, but it immediately heals the next panel. Is this the "logia" aspect? Is this Blackbeard's "unique body"? Either way, there is no damage after the moment of feeling pain.
Blackbeard never said that he dosen't take damage, he only said that he can absorb paine and not the damage, otherwise he would be undefeatable.
also Blackbeard can't turn into darkness because he is exposed to his weaknes LIGHT all the time, this is another reason why Blackbeard is stronger than people think, he can go all out only in complete darkness (if he can black the sun) through Kaido's DF ability using weather manipulation.
Is this the "logia" aspect? Is this Blackbeard's "unique body"? Either way, there is no damage after the moment of feeling pain.
well, Zoro and Kid's wounds disappeared too in the next page, it's just Oda is very inconsistent with those things.
here, as an example, Blackbeard can't heal poison.
but how does Luffy win? That's the current problem with Kaidou.
I will not go into details here because I will make a thread about it later, but I'm preety sure that the solution is gear 5th.
If Blackbeard doesn't feel significant pain, there is now no way to win.
It doesn't matter whether he fills pain or not, what realy matters is whether he can be damaged or not.
These are still legitimate 1v1s. Every major arc has Luffy powering up anyway. We presumably have his awakening soon (mastered haki otherwise). Context is what makes it a legitimate 1v1 fight or not. Looking at it, half the arcs have Luffy taking on someone weaker, but because of context, the opponent has the advantage. Even against Hody, Luffy still takes significant damage because of the steroids and being in the ocean.
I 100% agree with you that context matters and that Oda wants Luffy to struggle even against weak characters, but that's not the sobject here.
Moria is a 1v1. The Shadows are negating the astronomical power up from Moria's 10,000 shadows. Luffy's 200 or so is not 10,000.
You have to consider the fact that Luffy used Moria's abilities against him, in a 1v1 when Moria doesn't have Orze and Luffy doesn't have the shadows then Luffy loses to Moria, as matter of fact Luffy couldn't even touch Moria in 1v1 scenario.
Also, Moria eventually lost due to the tower falling in his head because he destroyed the ground.
Doffy is similar where the main fight is only a 1v1. Doffy has to be struck by Law's Gamma Knife to cause the damage and fatigue Luffy has from fighting his way all the way up. Oda is correctly making them start at the same status when the real fight starts. It truly is a fair 1v1. Oda could have chosen to have Doffy at 100%, but now this makes Luffy stronger than he actually is.
yes, I agree that Luffy was dominating Doffy in gear 4th but Luffy losing his haki for 10m changes the perspective of the fight. Luffy needed help from colosseum warriors to hold Doffy at by, for Luffy to rest and come back, now that is not a 1v1.
We have so few examples of awakenings, I would be willing to bet Oda has a very clear plan on having Luffy get astronomical jumps to potentially all of his physical capabilities. Let me just state it directly: Snake-man defies physics by getting stronger the farther it goes. This immediately creates an infinite powered strike. I'd rather not type out my whole theory again, so I can post the link if needed. This is only one "twist" of the Gomu Gomu rules and it fits perfectly.
I don't think that Luffy's awakening will be broken, even Blackbeard will not be broken HE WILL BE OP but not broken. I've read your theory and I like it but Luffy's stretching will not be unlimited, even with awakening there will be limitations otherwise the entire point of the story disappears. Luffy can't defeat Blackbeard thanks to his DF abilities otherwise, what was the point of eating more than one DF in first place!? There's a clear theme of what Luffy vs Blackbeard means, what it represends in the story.
Blackbeard is like a cheater/hacker: he hacks the sistem, he eats multipl DF abilities, he tricks everyone etc. while Luffy is the guy who always chooses the hardest path (even when he can cheat), he endures everthing, he breaks his limits with his will/haki power etc. Impel Down makes great point in it. In Impel Down when both Luffy and Blackbeard got poisoned: Luffy fought against poison and defeated it while Blackbeard was saved thanks to ShIryuu and the same thing when it comes to their power up. Blackbeard becomes stronger through DF abilities while Luffy becomse stronger through fights and training; Luffy vs Blackbeard is Yami Yami vs haki/will power, Zoan DF vs natural physical strength, Gura Gura vs Gomu Gomu.
In real life combat the cliche of "speed kills" is universal (if the basic skill to follow up on openings is utilized). Oda is purposefully not showing Blackbeard to have top tier speed. Luffy just has to maximize his speed advantage to never get grabbed. He cannot put his power behind it, so it becomes a war of endurance (which is the norm based on Aokiji vs. Akainu lasting a week).
Here's Blackbeard tells and shows Ace that you can't escape, no matter what Luffy does he will be caught by Blackbeard, speed is not a solution... Blackbeard also tells "Logia, Zoan, Paramythia all think they are invulnerable! And i have the power to turn them back into weak human beings!" The only thing Luffy needs to do is to not be a weak human whiteout his DF ability, Luffy needs to train his body.
And then, we have Van Augur confirming it, Oda is literally telling us the key to defeat Blackbeard, you just have to have a strong body. It's not a coincidence that Luffy gained muscle mass in Wano arc fist time (When his opponent is at the top of physical realm)
Luffy was specifically training his physical strength in Udon for that reason.
To each their own, but I'm definitely a lot more pessimistic on the current gap between Luffy and Kaidou right now. Even Luffy using level 2 haki is roughly equivalent to a normal attack from Drake in his partial transformation...
The gap is big but not as big as people think it is, I'll talk about it in my thread.