Deku vs. Muscular: Who Won and Is He Really Stronger?

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While we know that there are a lot of characters with different powers and abilities (Quirks) in My Hero Academia, the powerhouses still have a special place in the storyline, as characters with immense physical capabilities aren’t as common. Two of them are Izuku “Deku” Midoriya and the villain named Muscular. Both of these characters exhibit immense physical capabilities due to their Quirks. But who between Deku and Muscular is stronger?

Deku is stronger than Muscular, especially if he is able to use the full power of One For All. Muscular may be able to match Deku’s strength and is capable of withstanding his attacks. However, Deku has more Quirks and can easily defeat Muscular with several hits in his full power.

At this point, Deku is still learning how to use his power and is also improving when it comes to the use of One For All, despite the fact that he is still incapable of completely unleashing its 100% output. However, in both of the meetings that he had with Muscular, he was able to defeat him. The second time was easier for Deku as he was already far more experienced than he was before. Now, let’s look at who between Deku and Muscular is stronger.

Quirks

We know that Izuku Midoriya was born Quirkless but was eventually chosen by All Might to inherit One For All, which was the Quirk responsible for making him the Symbol of Peace. This means that he was able to join the hero course with the hero name “Deku” as he was able to make use of the immense power that comes with One For All, which enhances the user’s physical abilities. However, as the ninth person to use the Quirk, Deku also has access to the Quirks of the previous seven users, and these Quirks are Gearshift, Fa Jin, Danger Sense, Blackwhip, Smokescreen, and Float.

deku quirks

Muscular is a villain with a Quirk that fits his villain name. His Quirk is called Pump Up, which is capable of allowing his body to develop countless muscle layers that increase his strength and improve his durability. In fact, his muscles are so large that not even his skin can contain them. However, if he takes too much damage, his muscle fibers deplete and will open up weaknesses in his body.

The fact that Deku is so much more versatile compared to Muscular gives him the edge in terms of the Quirks that he could use. Muscular is more of a one-trick pony in the sense that he is strong but is not capable of doing a lot of other things.

Deku 1, Muscular 0

Strength

At first, One For All was seemingly a strength-based Quirk that enhanced the physical abilities of the user, and that was why Deku relied more on his strength when it came to his fights. However, because of his weaker body and the immense energy produced by One For All, he could not use the full power of the Quirk and could only use 5% of it. He eventually learned how to use 30%of One For All. But when he uses 100%, he can be just as strong as All Might was at the cost of damaging his own body.

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What makes Muscular so strong is the fact that Pump Up allows him to develop a lot of muscle layers. In fact, he said that he could produce up to 12,000 layers of muscle that wrap and protect his body while giving him immense strength. When he is at his max output, Muscular can destroy buildings quite easily and is able to throw incredibly heavy objects with minimal effort. It is often said that Muscular is able to match the strength output of One For All.

muscular

Muscular, at his strongest level, is stronger than Deku at his usual 30% output. However, whenever Deku uses 100% of his output, he should be just as strong or even stronger than Muscular. And that’s why we can’t call this round either way.

Deku 1, Muscular 0

Speed

The fact that Deku’s One For All increases his overall physical abilities is what makes him incredibly fast as well, as he can use his legs to increase his speed. Using shoot style, he is capable of moving around the battlefield at incredible speeds, especially whenever he uses the highest output of One For All. However, when Deku uses Fa Jin, he becomes a lot faster because he can build up kinetic energy as he moves so that he can release this in the form of an explosive burst of power and speed.

shoot style.jpg

While we know that Muscular’s muscle fibers increase his size and strength, we also know that he is capable of moving at faster speeds as well due to the fact that his strength extends to his legs. He can move from one place to another quite fast because his legs allow him to jump high and explosively. That is why he is a deceptively fast villain that can keep up with some of the fastest heroes in the series.

Even though Muscular can move fast, Deku has reached a level where he is so much faster than before. His shooting style allows him to move from one area to another quickly and explosively. But using Fa Jin only makes him a lot faster.

Deku 2, Muscular 0

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Durability

Of course, the physical enhancements of One For All extend to the user’s durability as well. Deku has shown the ability to withstand powerful attacks, such as Bakugo’s explosions and Muscular’s punches, even when he only uses 5% of his output. At 30%, he can withstand blows from a physically enhanced Tomura Shigaraki with the powers of All For One. Then, when he used 45% of his power, he was capable of surviving getting shot by Lady Nagant.

The fact that Muscular is capable of developing up to 12,000 layers of muscles makes him an incredibly durable character that can withstand some of the toughest hits. He was able to take the full power of Grand’s Tremoring Earth without even showing any signs of damage. In his first meeting with Deku, he withstood the power of his 100% Detroit Smash. But as durable as he may be, Muscular’s muscles can deplete whenever he takes too much damage.

muscular 2

Despite the weakness in Muscular’s durability, he is still more durable than Deku at this point in the storyline. Deku, at 100% of his power, isn’t even quite durable because of how it damages his body as well. That is why Muscular is more durable. 

Deku 2, Muscular 1

Intelligence

One of the things that make Deku so special is his intelligence. He isn’t the most intelligent in terms of his academic capabilities, but he is great at analyzing Quirks and understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Deku knows how to survey a battlefield and develop strategies to turn the tide of a battle in his favor. As such, he is incredibly dangerous because he knows how to use his brain to understand situations and come up with solutions to complex problems.

Midoriya My Hero Academia

The thing about Muscular is that he is simply a destructive villain with little to no abilities when it comes to his intelligence. He is somewhat of an idiot that only lives to destroy things and hurt people without any kind of logic behind what he does. It was the fact that he wasn’t so intelligent that he lost to Deku in their two meetings. And it was in the second meeting that it became clear that there was a huge gap in their intelligence as Deku defeated him quickly with an intelligent move.

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This is a no-brainer, as Deku is much smarter than this bumbling heap of muscles.

Deku 3, Muscular 1

Deku vs. Muscular: Who Won And Is He Really Stronger?

While it may be true that Muscular is incredibly strong and is capable of matching the strength, speed, and durability of Deku, there is no doubt that his abilities are limited to what his body can do in a physical sense. His Quirk, while incredibly strong, doesn’t have a lot of capabilities outside of increasing his physical attributes. On top of that, Muscular isn’t the smartest person in the room and is easily outsmarted by a teenage boy.

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