[CHAPTER 1010+] Has Zoro Surpassed Mihawk?

Discuss the One Piece Manga. BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Who's stronger?

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WARNING - SPOILERS UP TO ONE PIECE CHAPTER 1010. PLEASE CLICK AWAY IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS FAR AND DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED. I REPEAT. PLEASE CLICK AWAY IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED.




So, with the latest chapter of One Piece, we see Zoro do the following:

> Unlock Conqueror's Haki
> Use Ashura again (finally)
>Leave a permanent wound on Kaido

Very cool.

The question is, with him unlocking his latent Haki potential and with the acquisiton of Enma, whose presence alone seems to be enough to faze even the Yonko, is he now at the level he needs to be at to be the World's Strongest Swordsman? Has he finally surpassed the seemingly insurmountable wall that is Dracule Mihawk?

Now, I'm sure some of you may be thinking "Whoah, you're not giving Mihawk enough credit". But hear me out.

First of all, Zoro surpassing Mihawk does not make Mihawk weak. Mihawk the current World's Strongest Swordsman, and as far as we know he rose to the title of Warlord completely by himself, riding around on his little vampire coffin boat. He once rivalled THE Red Haired Shanks, and he seemed to get through the brutal Marineford war mostly unharmed. He is a man worthy of holding the title of the World's Strongest (Swordsman)

However, I would argue that Zoro's feats in the fight against Kaido and Big Mom mean that he has surpassed the man who trained him for two years, and that thanks to his role as the Straw Hats' number 2 fighter, he's been pushed a lot harder than Mihawk has been pushing himself for a while now.

So you understand what I mean, here's how it is.

We know from Chapter 957 that Shanks became a Yonko 6 years before the events in Wano. That's four years before the story begins, and twelve years AFTER he loses his arm to the Sea King. This means Mihawk has been without his rival for a whole twelve years. Shanks is undoubtedly stronger now than he was back in Romance Dawn times - he managed to fend off Kaido before going to Marineford and challenging everyone to a fight (that was refused). Mihawk, on the other hand, seems to have lost his way a little since he stopped challenging Shanks. Even if he has grown stronger, the fact that Shanks has had to challenge the very best of the best to attain his spot means that he's likely grown significantly more than Mihawk has over the time since their last duel.

Zoro, however, has been training himself to be the swordsman to the Pirate King, and to support him in battles against the Yonko. He explicitly stated his desire to fight Kaido, and the work he's put in so far is enough that he can do the business against the supposed World's Strongest Creature. So he can support Luffy, he is consistently punching up, whereas Mihawk is only punching down as far as we know. I doubt he's tried to take on any of the current Yonko not named Shanks based on his actions at Marineford (sending a big slash at Whitebeard to see how he compares - why would he do that if they'd already fought?), and I doubt he's been training himself in a way that puts him in a position to.

Furthermore, I'd argue that Mihawk's feats in Marineford, whilst impressive, do not put him at the level of an Admiral or an Emperor. It's a small sample size, but based on what's been shown he's probably at the level of Whitebeard's top Commanders and a step away from Whitebeard himself. If we estimate the Yonko to be in roughly the same ballpark strength-wise, Mihawk is definitely a tier below Shanks, and by extension Kaido.

Now, I'm not saying Zoro would beat Kaido. Far from it - I still think he'd lose somewhat comfortably as the gap between him and Luffy is probably bigger than we realise (and Luffy is still very much the underdog in that fight). However, the strength feat required to damage someone as durable as Kaido is arguably enough to take out Mihawk. With Enma, he's barely flicking his blade and taking out large chunks of mountains and bisecting giant skull horns. Obviously, the question of actual swordsmanship and technique comes into play as well here, but again I'd argue that if it's good enough to hurt Kaido (or at least make him move out of the way), it should be enough to brute force his way to the title of World's Strongest Swordsman.

I hope that makes sense.

What do you guys think?


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Woah, woah, woah. Blades/swords are the strongest weapons in One Piece (already implied long before the Roger and Whitebeard clash). Zoro and Luffy are unlikely to have jumped all the way to the very top of the entire world just now. This negates the need for the vast majority of the New World arcs. Out of pure enjoyment/the series not going to disconnect/low levels of believability, Zoro should still be FAR from Mihawk.

Mihawk should contextually have mastery of haki infused projectile attacks (=> probably a significant chunk of how a black blade is made). Hard to imagine Mihawk doesn't have haoshoku either. If someone like Doffy (content to be the ruler of only one country) has haoshoku, Mihawk who rose to the strongest swordsman in the world almost has to have haoshoku too.

Zoro being able to beat Mihawk without any black blades seems completely anti-climatic to me.

FYI this is the chain reaction/disconnect I'm talking about. Magically weakening the Yonkou (taking away almost all haki usage/minimal confirmed usages of haki) magically weakens everyone else in the series. We literally can just skip the rest of the New World...and this may be how Oda cuts down 2-5 years of manga content (his sudden jump to 80% completion or whatever the number was).

Ah, but projectile attacks is what we can compare Mihawk and Zoro directly. It takes Zoro's full efforts to have huge projectile attacks. Mihawk effortlessly has produced larger projectile slashes, and potentially without any haki imbued. Mihawk's personality negates him from competing to become Pirate King, but there should be no denying that we've only see him toy with Yonkou execs and admiral attacks.

Consistency is a huge part of power rankings. We've only seen the peak potential of Luffy and Zoro. We haven't even seen Mihawk take someone seriously. Even for Luffy's case, when has Oda made a baddie just give up without a fight. Doing so is anti-climatic.

If haoshoku is such a huge power-up, why isn't Doffy or Chinjao astronomically stronger? Running with the current implications is having astronomical contradictions...so we'll see what direction Oda's true intentions are (hopefully we don't jump to something else) next chapter.


Back to the blind Oda faith (until the next B.S. of course).
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seiryu wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:05 pm
Zoro and Luffy are unlikely to have jumped all the way to the very top of the entire world just now.

Okay so obviously this is a Zoro/Mihawk thread, but I would like to say that I think Luffy is probably in the top top tier, as far as currently alive characters go, as of Chapter 1010. That's putting all four Yonko, the Admirals, Akainu, Kuzan and his father above him. I don't think anyone except for those guys beats him 1v1 now.

Theoretically, Zoro should be in the tier below him now (the tier where guys like Katakuri, Marco and Sabo are, and where Luffy was post-WCI). I would also imagine Mihawk is in that tier, or maybe in an awkward in-between space, but that's purely based off the fact that, as you mention, we really haven't seen him try yet. I do not see him at that top, top level purely based on the fact that he's not really interested in being a challenger at the top table.

seiryu wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:05 pm
Mihawk should contextually have mastery of haki infused projectile attacks (=> probably a significant chunk of how a black blade is made). Hard to imagine Mihawk doesn't have haoshoku either. If someone like Doffy (content to be the ruler of only one country) has haoshoku, Mihawk who rose to the strongest swordsman in the world almost has to have haoshoku too.

Okay, you kind of mention this issue further down but we don't really have much of an idea of Mihawk's Haki capabilities. We know he made a black blade and that he's the world's strongest swordsman, so he is definitely very high level, but is he at the level of someone like Oden, whose presence is still within his sword after his death?

seiryu wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:05 pm
Ah, but projectile attacks is what we can compare Mihawk and Zoro directly. It takes Zoro's full efforts to have huge projectile attacks. Mihawk effortlessly has produced larger projectile slashes, and potentially without any haki imbued.

I think perceived effort is a big question mark here as well. We see Zoro huffing and puffing a lot with his attacks, but at the same time I'd argue the Enma slash that takes off one of the horns of the Onigashima skull thingy is far more impressive than say, Mihawk's attack aimed at Whitebeard in Marineford (which Jozu blocked successfully). I don't doubt that Mihawk could produce an attack of that size, but I imagine it'd take him a similar amount of effort, because it is no mean feat...

seiryu wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:05 pm
there should be no denying that we've only see him toy with Yonkou execs and admiral attacks.

I agree with this and it ties into the "percieved effort" stuff I talked about above, but I want to talk about something else that you say just before this.

seiryu wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:05 pm
Mihawk's personality negates him from competing to become Pirate King

This is a very big point and I think I should have made a bigger deal out of it in my post. From what we've seen of Mihawk, he seems content with where he is and that nobody can challenge him. However, Zoro is the challenger, and a very hungry one at that. I'd argue his drive to achieve his dream is second only to Luffy in the series. That alone is accelarating his growth rate massively - the Zoro in Onigashima is significantly stronger than the one from just 50-60 chapters ago, and in turn that Zoro is significantly stronger than the one that sliced Pica. He's constantly fighting, whereas Mihawk is only really getting back into the swing of things as of 956/7, now that he's a wanted man again.

Whilst he might not be there yet, I think the addition of Enma to his arsenal would make a fight with Mihawk much closer than we think. I don't think Mihawk gets up from the Ashura attack he does in 1010, for example. You could argue that Mihawk blocks it, but I think in terms of pure brute force, Zoro meets the baseline requirement to make a fight with Mihawk interesting. Once he tames Enma and/or turns it black, then I'd argue he's the favourite in that fight.


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Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:16 pm
Okay so obviously this is a Zoro/Mihawk thread, but I would like to say that I think Luffy is probably in the top top tier, as far as currently alive characters go, as of Chapter 1010. That's putting all four Yonko, the Admirals, Akainu, Kuzan and his father above him. I don't think anyone except for those guys beats him 1v1 now.

Theoretically, Zoro should be in the tier below him now (the tier where guys like Katakuri, Marco and Sabo are, and where Luffy was post-WCI). I would also imagine Mihawk is in that tier, or maybe in an awkward in-between space, but that's purely based off the fact that, as you mention, we really haven't seen him try yet. I do not see him at that top, top level purely based on the fact that he's not really interested in being a challenger at the top table.
Woah...I do not have Katakuri in the same category. Or sorry, Sabo is the exception of the "Yonkou exec" level. We've talked about this before, but we have to have a tier above yonkou exec and below yonkou. All of the "runner-ups" that are with Blackbeard now (but with them gaining strong fruit abilities all of them [excluding Shiryuu since his power is meaningless with basic kenbunshoku] are likely in the top tier now) are the known characters in this tier.

I'll just be blunt since it stops dancing around the two ends, but the direct weakening of what Yonkou level used to be is what I will grasp onto until we get confirmation of Kaidou's defeat. Kaidou using basic defensive busoushoku stops most of this damage. If he is using it already, it has never been shown since the one instance of it with the early fight was removed in the anime. This entire discussion is only relevant IF Oda is going to astronomically simplify and shorten the series. This is WAAAAAAAAAY bigger than WCI B.S. now. It is not contradicting just one arc. Oda is on the verge of contradicting EVERY bit of Yonkou/admiral related context in terms of power.

Just in case I forget, I didn't see it scrolling back up to quote, but swords/blades are the strongest weapons in the One Piece world. Roger almost has to have been the "world's strongest swordsman" when he was alive. The astronomical benefits the combination of a top tier blade plus haki gives (both offensive and defensive => Zoro's defense, which also implies zero haki usage by the Yonkou if not shown) implies the world's strongest swordsman is among the top 10 in the world. This reflects the consensus of the fan's power rankings. Mihawk only drops out of this, with the new Yonkou B.S.
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:16 pm
Okay, you kind of mention this issue further down but we don't really have much of an idea of Mihawk's Haki capabilities. We know he made a black blade and that he's the world's strongest swordsman, so he is definitely very high level, but is he at the level of someone like Oden, whose presence is still within his sword after his death?
And this is the problem with the Oden sudden jump. Oden was able to cut Kaidou deeply, but this feat contradicts everything else related to Oden's power level, including Oden's own self-assessment when comparing himself to Whitebeard directly and then indirectly with Roger when he gets blown away with one unnamed? attack (indirect in that he still wants to go and does not acknowledge his defeat until he sees Roger and Whitebeard going somewhat serious (potentially fully serious if yonkou B.S. becomes reality).

I probably need to get this out of the way before I forget: I have a hard time thinking you do not see the MASSIVE chain reaction of contradictions that go through if Yonkou B.S. goes through. Why would you support it? I don't want a boring adventure where the vast majority (pretty much everything except the Laugh Tale ending) is predictable. I have a hard time thinking any fan would consciously root for this and per my bias it is just a matter of not seeing the chain reaction leading to the negative. I'm reading that you seem to see it but are still supporting it. Connectivity/believability are what drives the success of any series in any genre/format. The level of disconnect and resulting contradictions are going to be huge since Oda is about to change the entire New World with this one decision of taking away Yonkou using basic haki. Which in itself is a contradiction. Kaidou is shown using level 2. Luffy says he uses haoshoku coating (when it is not shown since Kaidou makes contact with Luffy in all instances). We already have contradictions.

But back on the Oden tangent. I only have to reference on thing: Oden does not create a black blade. His haki is below Mihawk's. Mihawk should EASILY defeat Kaidou based on what we are seeing now. Moreover, it is Enma and not Oden. Kaidou only relates Enma's haki enhancement since he was only cut by Oden with it. Level 2 haki is the connection of Oden to the Scabbards. Zoro has not been shown to use level 2 haki, so the power jump is only haoshoku. But again, this contradicts the "weak" haoshoku users. SOOOOOOO many contradictions if we run with Yonkou B.S.
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:16 pm
I think perceived effort is a big question mark here as well. We see Zoro huffing and puffing a lot with his attacks, but at the same time I'd argue the Enma slash that takes off one of the horns of the Onigashima skull thingy is far more impressive than say, Mihawk's attack aimed at Whitebeard in Marineford (which Jozu blocked successfully). I don't doubt that Mihawk could produce an attack of that size, but I imagine it'd take him a similar amount of effort, because it is no mean feat...
Haki. Zero haki is used with Mihawk. Enma powers up attacks because it takes additional haki energy even when the user has partial control. Zoro only uses one sword because HE DIES from using up all of his life energy. He has to fully concentrate to not die. Haki is the universal factor and haki is being taken away from the Yonkou. It is that simple because Oda has done a good job of minimizing B.S. from haki being disorganized in the beginning.
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:16 pm
This is a very big point and I think I should have made a bigger deal out of it in my post. From what we've seen of Mihawk, he seems content with where he is and that nobody can challenge him. However, Zoro is the challenger, and a very hungry one at that. I'd argue his drive to achieve his dream is second only to Luffy in the series. That alone is accelarating his growth rate massively - the Zoro in Onigashima is significantly stronger than the one from just 50-60 chapters ago, and in turn that Zoro is significantly stronger than the one that sliced Pica. He's constantly fighting, whereas Mihawk is only really getting back into the swing of things as of 956/7, now that he's a wanted man again.

Whilst he might not be there yet, I think the addition of Enma to his arsenal would make a fight with Mihawk much closer than we think. I don't think Mihawk gets up from the Ashura attack he does in 1010, for example. You could argue that Mihawk blocks it, but I think in terms of pure brute force, Zoro meets the baseline requirement to make a fight with Mihawk interesting. Once he tames Enma and/or turns it black, then I'd argue he's the favourite in that fight.
I shouldn't have to ask how much haki powers up someone right? Mihawk cannot have his haki taken away since we have confirmation that Mihawk created his black blade (vs. inheriting it like Zoro did with Shisui). I am depressed having to type out how much contradiction goes from this one cop out.

Thankfully, unless Oda is going to contradict his normal back and forth mechanics of fights and also contradict the kabuki pattern (hard to have a tragedy if one person can defeat everyone else on the island), there is still hope to keep connectivity/believability at Oda levels.


Back to the blind Oda faith (until the next B.S. of course).
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for now Mihawk is still strronger than Zoro but if marimo can master his conqueror's haki - coating the 3 swords anytime he wants, then Zoro will be the world's strongest swordsman.


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seiryu wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:27 am
Woah...I do not have Katakuri in the same category. Or sorry, Sabo is the exception of the "Yonkou exec" level.

Okay just to be clear, are you saying Zoro > Katakuri?

seiryu wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:27 am
We've talked about this before, but we have to have a tier above yonkou exec and below yonkou.

It really depends on how wide you make the tiers, and how you define what a Yonko Executive is. For example, a character like Marco is(was) a Yonko executive, but he was shown to be able to defend himself against an Admiral, be capable of leading a charge against Blackbeard, and he can handle fighting two people of the same “rank” as him relatively okay. Compare him to say, Daifuku or Oven, who are executives by name, and you see that they’re probably in different tiers.

We’re at the later stages of the series and Oda has a LOT of characters in play. I’d be inclined to agree that some of the Supernovas (Kidd/Killer/Law and possibly Drake) will end up in a tier of their own in between the Yonko commanders and the Yonko, as will some of the Shichibukai (Mihawk/Boa Hancock/Weevil?) once we see the aftermath of the Reverie. The problem is, those characters are only really coming into play now, so it’s only post Wano/Reverie that we can get an idea of where those guys stand strength-wise if that makes sense?

seiryu wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:27 am
the world's strongest swordsman is among the top 10 in the world. This reflects the consensus of the fan's power rankings. Mihawk only drops out of this, with the new Yonkou B.S.

So I feel like there HAS to be a discernible difference between being the strongest swordsman and the strongest fighter. If there isn’t, then Mihawk would quite literally be #1 strength-wise in the OPverse. He’s certainly strong, but he isn’t #1, nor is he top 10. There are so many characters that you HAVE to give top spots to (Yonko/Admirals make up 9 of the 10, and Dragon is the likely tenth), but also i don’t see him defeating any of the characters I’ve mentioned. Luffy could also probably counter him now too.

seiryu wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:27 am
I'll just be blunt since it stops dancing around the two ends, but the direct weakening of what Yonkou level used to be is what I will grasp onto until we get confirmation of Kaidou's defeat.

So this is a really interesting thing to discuss, and I might make a thread about it some time, but the big question to ask with powerscaling is this: Are the Yonko weaker than they should be, or have we built them up to be far more invincible than they actually are? We’ve seen Luffy, Kaido and Big Mom all use the technique that prime Roger and WB (who we can all agree are strong) were using in the Oden flashback. Big Mom and Kaido were also said by the Marines (during one of the Reverie breaks) to be the strongest they’ve ever been. Without going off on too much of a tangent here, this is something that people complain about a LOT at the end of a battle series. Final villains are built up to be so invincible that any route to beating them feels like an asspull. Oda’s already spent long enough developing his main cast, and he’s at the point now where there isn’t really anyone left for Luffy to face for him to still be punching up. He’s either beaten or befriended all the Shichibukai (except for Weevil, but he’s a total wildcard), and we know through the established power systems that there isn’t any other pirate faction that could pose as much of a threat. Maybe the Supernovas, but Oda’s chosen to use most of them here in Wano, where Luffy is currently proving himself to be miles ahead of all of them. The fights he has under his belt combined with the training he’s done on Wano means he’s ready, and it’s not completely unbelievable. His opponents are human, and that makes them reachable.

seiryu wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:27 am
But back on the Oden tangent. I only have to reference on thing: Oden does not create a black blade. His haki is below Mihawk's. Mihawk should EASILY defeat Kaidou based on what we are seeing now.

seiryu wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:27 am
I shouldn't have to ask how much haki powers up someone right? Mihawk cannot have his haki taken away since we have confirmation that Mihawk created his black blade (vs. inheriting it like Zoro did with Shisui). I am depressed having to type out how much contradiction goes from this one cop out.

So I kind of wanted to address these two points together because they’re connected. Annoyingly, Haki and strength have been synonymous post-timeskip, so I can see where you’re coming from. However, I’m not sure how much we should lean into the black blade as a sign of where Mihawk stands vs. current characters. Roger didn’t have a black blade, nor did Whitebeard (he should theoretically be able to turn his spear tip black). Mihawk himself acknowledged that he was nowhere near Whitebeard in Marineford.

I alluded to the idea of “strongest swordsman” and “strongest fighter” being two different things earlier, but now I think I should elaborate. Being a “pure” swordsman and being a fighter who uses a sword are likely very different in the approach to training and the eventual skill sets gained. Zoro and Mihawk are masters of their craft, and disciples to the art of swordsmanship. The black blade is a sign you’ve reached the pinnacle of what it means to be a swordsman in the OP universe, but it’s a very specialised, almost niche, application of Haki. To me, it’s a sign that they’re strong, but it doesn’t make them the strongEST, if that makes sense? The Kuja warriors do something similar with their arrows, but I don’t think that makes them stronger than fighters who can’t apply their Haki to permanently coat a weapon/projectile. TL;DR is that strongest within their art =/= strongest overall.

Now on to the “you can’t take away Mihawk’s black blade”. That’s correct and I do not dispute that. It’s a feat he has and it’s one he worked to achieve. However, one thing that has been made abundantly clear post-timeskip is that Haki blooms in battle, and Mihawk has not been doing much of that, aside from chasing the odd pirate fleet out of the Grand Line (hi Don Kreig). He hasn’t been challenged, and the conditions for his Haki to grow aren’t being met, so he’s likely reached a plateau in terms of strength. Yes, it’s a high plateau, but it’s not as high as it once seemed, especially considering how much Zoro has grown over the course of the Wano arc alone. After this arc is done, I genuinely think he’s ready to fight Mihawk. And if that fight is actually going to happen, it’s very much around the corner. The only pre-requisite I have for this fight, though, is that he completely tames Enma. It’s taking too much of a toll on him to use now, but once he can make that strength his own, he’s going to give Mihawk a real run for his money.


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Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:59 pm
Okay just to be clear, are you saying Zoro > Katakuri?
Prior to the most recent fights (i.e. even with Enma) I would have said no, but with Zoro having haoshoku and all of these other power-ups from the top of Onigashima I would 100% say yes. Katakuri's only clear advantage is foresight kenbunshoku. Zoro has displayed greater speed (keeping up with Yonkou fighting legitimately), destructive power, physical strength, defensive capabilities, etc. I'm struggling to think of any stat/category other than experience (which is probably about equal since it seems that skirmishes with powerhouses are quite rare) that Katakuri is above Zoro (with potentially B.S. levels of sudden increase).

All of this stems from haki. If the Yonkou are not using any haki, then things are actually still connected/believable to a high extent. But to answer the main question, Zoro just has to unleash his Enma attack. He is faster than Katakuri and it is so damn big that it doesn't matter if Katakuri sees the future of it coming.
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:59 pm
It really depends on how wide you make the tiers, and how you define what a Yonko Executive is. For example, a character like Marco is(was) a Yonko executive, but he was shown to be able to defend himself against an Admiral, be capable of leading a charge against Blackbeard, and he can handle fighting two people of the same “rank” as him relatively okay. Compare him to say, Daifuku or Oven, who are executives by name, and you see that they’re probably in different tiers.

We’re at the later stages of the series and Oda has a LOT of characters in play. I’d be inclined to agree that some of the Supernovas (Kidd/Killer/Law and possibly Drake) will end up in a tier of their own in between the Yonko commanders and the Yonko, as will some of the Shichibukai (Mihawk/Boa Hancock/Weevil?) once we see the aftermath of the Reverie. The problem is, those characters are only really coming into play now, so it’s only post Wano/Reverie that we can get an idea of where those guys stand strength-wise if that makes sense?
The problem is that Oda is in general not willing to show us power ups before Luffy uses them. Just like the Yonkou currently, context is directly saying all of the Yonkou execs are not fighting seriously. We don't see any of them using haki (King once, but I don't think even Marco has used haki against anyone in any of his fights). Just like Luffy, everyone has to warm up and is messing around just for the sake of making sure the plot has drama. It is plot armor and especially with both WCI and Wano Kuni, it becomes a massacre that ends the series if the baddies fight seriously.

Oven right off the bat: his power is lame UNTIL we see that he can heat up the entire ocean for a wide range (both length and depth). The instantaneous manner that he does this means that he could easily kill people if he used this in the air. He has the perfect defense even for haki (excluding haoshoku coating). Even with haki, people get severely burned with anything that isn't a projectile. Unless the projectile has haki, it gets melted or at least warped.

Same can be said for Marco in that we don't see him fight seriously with haki either. So my gripe is that things are extra speculative until we see a character fight in a climax fight. And this is the biggest problem with the B.S. in that Oda had to weaken characters/make them dilly-dally so that the protagonists don't just die.

It is completely up to Oda. How much he expands the New World arcs (or cuts off years of manga content with having Kaidou and Big Mom defeated in this arc) is up to him. We potentially could have multiple tiers in this new range if we have every New World arc having the normal One Piece mechanics of a step up in competition with each arc.

The big difference is that Supernovas are showing they are clearly below this level now, while people like the Shichibukai/level 6 inmates/other New World powerhouses are already there. The anime shows Kaidou and Moria clashing with haoshoku coloring effects. The massive extent of the world makes it so that there are necessary contradictions and especially with haki. And that's the problem for me. Oda could have easily avoided all of this by never introducing B.S. One tiny change of making WCI a victory rather than a defeat is now steadily expanding the B.S. The content shows us and confirms what power levels/rankings/tiers should be. Plot armor necessitated changes to it.
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:59 pm
So I feel like there HAS to be a discernible difference between being the strongest swordsman and the strongest fighter. If there isn’t, then Mihawk would quite literally be #1 strength-wise in the OPverse. He’s certainly strong, but he isn’t #1, nor is he top 10. There are so many characters that you HAVE to give top spots to (Yonko/Admirals make up 9 of the 10, and Dragon is the likely tenth), but also i don’t see him defeating any of the characters I’ve mentioned. Luffy could also probably counter him now too.
Umm...this completely disregards the MASSIVE benefits blades give. There's a reason Roger, Whitebeard, Kaidou, Shanks, Big Mom, etc. all use blades as their primary weapon. Even Kizaru and Aokiji create logia blades, so they can have the exact same benefits.

Zoro is still on a completely different scale of physical capabilities, but blades and haki bridge the gap. Mihawk's mastery of blade haki (the strongest techniques for offense and defense) guarantees he is among the strongest in the world. Oda would not be making such huge benefits for blades if not. Either that, or he has to introduce something new that cannot be used by blades. This then contradicts Roger and Whitebeard then. It's all already a huge mess...
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:59 pm
Are the Yonko weaker than they should be, or have we built them up to be far more invincible than they actually are?
Context/breadcrumbs. It is B.S. because it contradicts what was previously and clearly established. The B.S. is nothing but a cheap cop out to run away from the complexity that was created. Something, and as the discussions are showing, MULTIPLE aspects are being contradicted. Taking skirmishes as "climax action" is inaccurate to me because of plot armor. Oda only shows us real power levels with the climax fights. So there is a loophole that we have yet to see Roger or Whitebeard fully fight to their 100%. If you want a "boring adventure", then that's your choice. I've been clear from the Frog-Carrot B.S. that even minor B.S. is nothing but bad news for One Piece.
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:59 pm
So I kind of wanted to address these two points together because they’re connected. Annoyingly, Haki and strength have been synonymous post-timeskip, so I can see where you’re coming from. However, I’m not sure how much we should lean into the black blade as a sign of where Mihawk stands vs. current characters. Roger didn’t have a black blade, nor did Whitebeard (he should theoretically be able to turn his spear tip black). Mihawk himself acknowledged that he was nowhere near Whitebeard in Marineford.
Perfect, since I just wrote about this. I fully expect Oda to do revisionist history that they are black blades. Unless he has a plan for something even greater, at this moment blades and haki are the strongest techniques in the world. I'm completely blanking on Mihawk making any comparison of himself. If anything it is the opposite, I'm pretty sure Mihawk is included in the shocked faces of seeing Whitebeard get stabbed. If anything, Mihawk makes a comment on confirming Whitebeard's previously holding the title of strongest in the world. And we don't know for sure until we see all of them fight in climax fights. For Whitebeard and Roger, this probably won't happen.

The biggest problem is that Hawkins is quite accurate of Supernova power levels. Even Luffy in Gear Fourth is quite different, but still could fit into the same tier. We'll see how Oda handles clarifying what is above that since it is all in flux right now.
Marco Polo wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:59 pm
I alluded to the idea of “strongest swordsman” and “strongest fighter” being two different things earlier, but now I think I should elaborate. Being a “pure” swordsman and being a fighter who uses a sword are likely very different in the approach to training and the eventual skill sets gained. Zoro and Mihawk are masters of their craft, and disciples to the art of swordsmanship. The black blade is a sign you’ve reached the pinnacle of what it means to be a swordsman in the OP universe, but it’s a very specialised, almost niche, application of Haki. To me, it’s a sign that they’re strong, but it doesn’t make them the strongEST, if that makes sense? The Kuja warriors do something similar with their arrows, but I don’t think that makes them stronger than fighters who can’t apply their Haki to permanently coat a weapon/projectile. TL;DR is that strongest within their art =/= strongest overall.

Now on to the “you can’t take away Mihawk’s black blade”. That’s correct and I do not dispute that. It’s a feat he has and it’s one he worked to achieve. However, one thing that has been made abundantly clear post-timeskip is that Haki blooms in battle, and Mihawk has not been doing much of that, aside from chasing the odd pirate fleet out of the Grand Line (hi Don Kreig). He hasn’t been challenged, and the conditions for his Haki to grow aren’t being met, so he’s likely reached a plateau in terms of strength. Yes, it’s a high plateau, but it’s not as high as it once seemed, especially considering how much Zoro has grown over the course of the Wano arc alone. After this arc is done, I genuinely think he’s ready to fight Mihawk. And if that fight is actually going to happen, it’s very much around the corner. The only pre-requisite I have for this fight, though, is that he completely tames Enma. It’s taking too much of a toll on him to use now, but once he can make that strength his own, he’s going to give Mihawk a real run for his money.
I am in full agreement with what is stated. I do think context is off. I think it is as simple as asking do you see ANY technique stronger than blades plus haki? Haoshoku coating is even greater with a blade...so this is why Oda clarifies Luffy's usages against Kaidou. He is at a disadvantage and has to have greater force behind his attack with a kick to match Kaidou's club.


Back to the blind Oda faith (until the next B.S. of course).
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Zoro won't surpass Mihawk until he fights Mihawk. Idk under what circumstances that fight will happen. I was initally thinking a 2nd war with the WG and Shichibukai. But then they had to go and disband them, so now I'm very confused.


 
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seiryu wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 8:35 pm
Prior to the most recent fights (i.e. even with Enma) I would have said no, but with Zoro having haoshoku and all of these other power-ups from the top of Onigashima I would 100% say yes. Katakuri's only clear advantage is foresight kenbunshoku.

Ok ok. I agree with everything in this quote - Zoro probably beats Katakuri (with "medium" difficulty) now. The Onigashima fight has taken him to a level I genuinely didn't expect to see him reach this arc.

seiryu wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 8:35 pm
Umm...this completely disregards the MASSIVE benefits blades give. There's a reason Roger, Whitebeard, Kaidou, Shanks, Big Mom, etc. all use blades as their primary weapon. Even Kizaru and Aokiji create logia blades, so they can have the exact same benefits.

Zoro is still on a completely different scale of physical capabilities, but blades and haki bridge the gap. Mihawk's mastery of blade haki (the strongest techniques for offense and defense) guarantees he is among the strongest in the world.

Ok so I do not dispute that he's one of the strongest in the world, but I think it's a case of strength vs. skill vs. strength AND skill. It's not as simple as "blades = strong, therefore strong person with a blade = strong swordsman". Mihawk is (presumably) a master of swordsmanship and has put the hours in to reach the top of his discipline, so the benefit he would get compared to say, Big Mom, who has thrown more attacks with her fist than with a sword, is much larger. This page from the first Zoro vs. Mihawk sums it up for me:

Spoiler
Image


You can reach the top levels of strength using a sword without ever mastering the art of swordsmanship. You can master the art of swordsmanship and not be the strongest fighter in the world. To use other combat-based skills for comparison - Hyogoro uses Ryuo, but even in his prime you wouldn't put him at the level of a Kaido or an Oden. Usopp is the best sniper we've seen in the series so far, yet he's considered one of the weakest in the crew (this might be a better example). Mihawk is very highly specialised in terms of combat ability to the point of being the best in the world, BUT it's his base physical attributes that will ultimately determine where he ranks compared to other elite fighters.

seiryu wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 8:35 pm
I think it is as simple as asking do you see ANY technique stronger than blades plus haki? Haoshoku coating is even greater with a blade...so this is why Oda clarifies Luffy's usages against Kaidou. He is at a disadvantage and has to have greater force behind his attack with a kick to match Kaidou's club.

My answer to this is that it's more about the user than the technique. Prime Garp manages to rival Prime Roger (blade user) with just his fist, because of how much he hones that skill and develops his physical strength. Blades + Haki might be the most naturally advantageous fighting style, but that natural advantage can be overcome by someone who hones their personal fighting style better than the blade user does. Luffy is a really good example of this - if I remember correctly, the phrase "rubber isn't a fighting ability" was used quite a lot during his backstory (the Ace/Sabo/Luffy one, not Romance Dawn).

I've said a lot of stuff here so let me try and explain this as concisely as possible. The best way I can think to do that is with one of those character stat graphs that you see in RPGs:

example
Image


the labels on each axis are interchangeable


Let's say for One Piece, we measure character's fighting abilities using the following stats: Skill (their overall proficiency with their fighting style), Haki, Power, Intelligence, Durability.

Mihawk's graph would have his "skill" stat maxed out, if not going off the grid. His Haki/power/intelligence stats would also be fairly high, and his durability is a bit of an unknown because we haven't really seen him try yet. Other top-tier fighters may not have as high a level of "skill", but their other attributes would compensate for that. For example, Zoro would likely have higher power and durability than Mihawk, but would fall short in the skill/mental attributes (and possibly also Haki).


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Nikamara wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 5:19 pm
Zoro won't surpass Mihawk until he fights Mihawk. Idk under what circumstances that fight will happen. I was initally thinking a 2nd war with the WG and Shichibukai. But then they had to go and disband them, so now I'm very confused.
The context implies there might be a short "Mihawk arc". Since Mihawk is not a part of the Government, his lone wolf personality means he is likely to be alone when the fight happens. The 2nd war definitely makes the most sense, but this out of the realistic options now.
Marco Polo wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 6:09 pm
It's not as simple as "blades = strong, therefore strong person with a blade = strong swordsman".
When the "skill" is haki...I think it is this simple (and since haki is based on mastery of different martial arts aspects, it is the highest levels of "skill" in the One Piece world). The only exception to this is the route where Oda has some sort of power up above haoshoku coating that is somewhat specific to hand to hand combat. We can assume Roger and Whitebeard can use this even if we never get to see them use it.

Similarly, I think it is impossible to downplay Mihawk's strength. Zoro is the stereotypical meathead/workout junkie. He's shown to be lifting multiple tons for basic training early in the series. Zoro acknowledges that Mihawk's strength is still on a completely different tier with their off screen training. With all of the 3D2Y training, all of the "masters" are still WAAAAAAAYYYYY above the disciples. I would put Nami in this category since she is not creating her own weapons/combination attacks (the Weatheria people developed the technology she is using for their own self-defense presumably, which means Nami got to see combinations/alternative usages that will become her future power ups).

The East Blue arc downplays it, but Mihawk is a part of the original "oversized humans". He is very similar in build to Croc, Jinbei, Boa, etc. Yes, Mihawk is "slimmer", but technically so is Zoro unless he uses his "Gorilla" technique.
Marco Polo wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 6:09 pm
You can reach the top levels of strength using a sword without ever mastering the art of swordsmanship. You can master the art of swordsmanship and not be the strongest fighter in the world. To use other combat-based skills for comparison - Hyogoro uses Ryuo, but even in his prime you wouldn't put him at the level of a Kaido or an Oden. Usopp is the best sniper we've seen in the series so far, yet he's considered one of the weakest in the crew (this might be a better example). Mihawk is very highly specialised in terms of combat ability to the point of being the best in the world, BUT it's his base physical attributes that will ultimately determine where he ranks compared to other elite fighters.
All of this is implying that Mihawk is physically weak to me/that's how it reads. Shanks uses a sword as his primary weapon...and yet he is not the world's strongest swordsman. Shanks wins if they were to fight to the death presumably because of mastered haki. Almost every other variable is directly implied to be close if they recognized each other as the opponent needed for proper sparring and training.

Again, right now, Oda is showing us that the strongest in the world are using blades with haki. People like Big Mom and Kaidou can be above Mihawk because their fruit abilities now give the power ups of the fruit ability and the awakening power up. There is too much content showing what the "real" power levels are for all of them. It has become murkier and murkier ever since the Frog-Carrot B.S.

If we only go off of climax fights and direct context of power levels for all the powerhouses to never have a climax fight, there is only one direction the breadcrumbs point to.

Mihawk isn't some weakling physically with the greatest swordsmanship only. If anything, the Shanks sparring is probably what should have been referenced first. Yes, it's all indirect, but I'm biased to say the literary perfection only points in one direction and it is just a matter of piecing together the details.
Marco Polo wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 6:09 pm
My answer to this is that it's more about the user than the technique. Prime Garp manages to rival Prime Roger (blade user) with just his fist, because of how much he hones that skill and develops his physical strength. Blades + Haki might be the most naturally advantageous fighting style, but that natural advantage can be overcome by someone who hones their personal fighting style better than the blade user does. Luffy is a really good example of this - if I remember correctly, the phrase "rubber isn't a fighting ability" was used quite a lot during his backstory (the Ace/Sabo/Luffy one, not Romance Dawn).

I've said a lot of stuff here so let me try and explain this as concisely as possible. The best way I can think to do that is with one of those character stat graphs that you see in RPGs:

example



the labels on each axis are interchangeable


Let's say for One Piece, we measure character's fighting abilities using the following stats: Skill (their overall proficiency with their fighting style), Haki, Power, Intelligence, Durability.

Mihawk's graph would have his "skill" stat maxed out, if not going off the grid. His Haki/power/intelligence stats would also be fairly high, and his durability is a bit of an unknown because we haven't really seen him try yet. Other top-tier fighters may not have as high a level of "skill", but their other attributes would compensate for that. For example, Zoro would likely have higher power and durability than Mihawk, but would fall short in the skill/mental attributes (and possibly also Haki).
Ah, Garp now becomes a HUGE discussion point. Shanks makes sense because of his swordsmanship. Based on the categories that contribute to every character's "combat capabilities" (it was a Yuz thread back at OPF, but I remember you being a part and not disagreeing with the categories we came up with). The only difference is that we have to add blades as a separate category based on how dramatic an upgrade both offensively and defensively it is.

We can use the stereotypical power chart. We cannot have only 0-5 ratings. Garp has to have his physical capabilities at a 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 level to make up for his lack of a fruit ability, awakening, and a blade. So technically, it might have to be 12, 13, 14, or 15 and that is more realistic since each missing category is a huge power up alone.

So I'm curious to see your breakdown for Mihawk.


Back to the blind Oda faith (until the next B.S. of course).
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