We have said it many times, and we are going to say it again – One Piece offers an abundance of amazing characters that we can actually compare, and that is why we have so many comparisons we can do from this series. This article is going to be one such comparison, as we are going to pit Monkey D. Garp, Luffy’s grandfather, and a famous Marine Vice-Admiral, and Portgas D. Ace, Luffy’s adoptive brother, and Garp’s adoptive grandson. Who is stronger? Keep reading to find out!
Garp was stronger than Ace and would win in a fight against him. Before his death, Portgas D. Ace’s power level was insufficient to defeat Garp at his peak. Ace was strong, absolutely, but not strong enough to defeat Garp at that point, and since he died prematurely, we cannot really guess whether he would have surpassed the Vice-Admiral. Based on Ace’s progression, we assume that it could’ve happened, but we cannot confirm it, as Garp is a true monster when he is at his best, so it would be a truly difficult match-up. But, as stated, Ace was not stronger than Monkey D. Garp at the time of his death.
What follows, of course, is a detailed analysis of the answer we have given you above. We will portray Monkey D. Garp and Portgas D. Ace in more detail, giving you a thorough analysis of the issue at hand and the balance of power between the two characters using our usual formula. Through several categories, you will see who the stronger of the two is and why our answer is like it is, i.e., why we’re quite certain that Garp was still stronger than Ace at the time of the latter’s premature death in the series.
Garp’s fists are incredibly strong. In fact, they are so strong that they can harm Luffy and cause him to feel pain with just one strike, even though Luffy was made out of rubber. Garp was also able to hurt Marco during the War even though the latter was in his Phoenix form. He said that throughout his preparation for Chinjao, he had successfully crushed a total of eight mountains.
As demonstrated when he was attacked by Captain Morgan and survived a cut from his ax, Garp also possesses tremendous stamina and a remarkable tolerance for pain. He is also incredibly fast, possibly even faster than CP9’s agent Soru, which he demonstrated when he simply passed all the Straw Hats to wake Luffy in time.
Ace was extraordinarily physically strong in addition to the abilities he gained from swallowing a Devil Fruit. His ability to sit on a large animal (perhaps a bull) that he killed with his stick when he first met Luffy and defeat some neighborhood bullies who believed his father “deserved to die” as a child were indications of his high physical potential.
A later scene showed him descending a large tree with ease. Ace battled Blackbeard and demonstrated his might. Ace took numerous blows from Blackbeard, two of which nearly shattered his nose and made him hemorrhage. Ace then retaliated. Van Augur claimed that Ace was a formidable fighter even without his Devil Fruit skills.
It cannot be denied that Ace was physically strong and that he was able to, despite his slim physique, show off impressive force in that aspect, but he was – at the time of his death – not even near Garp’s level, as Garp is a monster in this category. Likely, despite his growth, Ace would never have surpassed Garp in this category.
Points: Garp 1, Ace 0
Monkey D. Garp is, as we know, among a small number of characters who have managed to become true powerhouses despite never consuming a Devil Fruit in their lives. Since Monkey D. Garp has never consumed a Devil Fruit, there is nothing much we can tell you in this category—at least when it comes to Monkey D. Garp.
After consuming the Mera Mera no Mi, Ace acquired pyrogenic abilities, a Logia-type Devil Fruit. Ace showed off his incredible might by swiftly annihilating many Baroque Works ships. He also halted the snowfall on Drum Island the night before by using this power. Ace takes care of his Devil Fruit expertly.
Even though he was made of fire, Akainu’s strength managed to inflict a fatal wound on him while his Logia powers were still alive. Therefore, his composition did not shield him from attack. This is due to Ace’s Devil Fruit’s weakness to Akainu’s strength. After his passing, it was made known that Ace’s “Burning Fists” had the power to incinerate entire towns.
Even though Garp could probably counter Ace’s Devil Fruit powers with his raw strength, we have to give this point to Ace, as per our usual procedure in such cases, as Garp doesn’t have a Devil Fruit, and Ace does.
Points: Garp 1, Ace 1
Garp can utilize Haki because he is a Vice-Admiral, and it is a prerequisite in that aspect. We can first confirm that Garp is capable of using Observation Haki. Dr. Fishbonen urged Koby to ask Garp for assistance in studying Observation Haki as soon as he awoke because Garp is skilled enough to teach it to others.
Despite having a rubber body, Garp frequently injured Luffy, demonstrating his mastery of the Armament Haki. In a recent battle with Kuzan, he also demonstrated his proficiency with Conqueror’s Haki, which positioned him in a very elite group of characters who can use all three types of Haki.
The fact that Ace has the intrinsic capacity to utilize Conqueror’s Haki is revealed in a flashback that takes place ten years before the current timeline, even though it isn’t mentioned in the actual narrative. He actually used it against Bluejam without being conscious of it. One Piece Magazine made it known that Ace can also use Armament Haki. His level of mastery of this type of Haki is unknown, though. In the manga adaptation of a light novel, Ace trained alongside Thatch to learn how to use Kenbunshoku Haki.
Okay, we are going to stray from our usual formula here, as we usually split the points in cases where both characters knew the same types of Haki, but it is quite obvious that Ace’s mastery of Haki was not even close to Garp’s at the moment of death. He would have surpassed him in the future, probably, but this is pure conjecture from this standpoint, and that is why Garp wins this point.
Points: Garp 2, Ace 1
Until now, Garp has been observed shooting cannonballs (including a gigantic one) with his bare hands. He can even use his fists as weapons, demonstrating the breadth of his attacking abilities. In that he doesn’t utilize weapons in battle, he is comparable to his grandson, Luffy, and he also depends almost exclusively on his physical strength (and Haki). We don’t think he is among the greatest weapon users in the series, even though he is certainly a better weapon user than Luffy, who is a dreadful weapon user.
Although Ace has a knife, we have never seen him use it. However, Ace demonstrates his skill with various weapons in the flashback scenes where he tries to kill Whitebeard, including an axe, a dagger, etc. In Luffy’s flashbacks, he was depicted as having a pipe as a weapon.
This was difficult to analyze, as the two characters aren’t the greatest weapons users in the series; Garp relied on his brute strength, whereas Ace relied on his Devil Fruit. Still, seeing how Garp’s strength surpasses Ace’s, we assume he would’ve been more successful in a fight with weapons.
Points: Garp 3, Ace 1
Ace’s premature death made it impossible to predict whether he would have surpassed Garp in the future
The points confirm it, as we’ve said, and we can only agree here that we really think that at Ace’s death, Garp was still significantly stronger than him. Garp’s powers were revealed a bit later, but he could do all those things he did against Kuzan at the time of Ace’s death, which speaks enough for itself.
Sadly, Ace’s premature death was a shock, making it impossible for us to predict whether Ace would have been able to surpass Garp’s level of power at one point or another. We think that there was a chance for that, but seeing how Ace died, we can never really prove it, and it will remain a mystery because of which we simply had no choice but to declare Garp the winner here.