One Piece is a source of numerous powerful and intriguing characters. Eiichiro Oda’s manga series has given us some powerful pirates and in this article, we are going to compare two of them to determine who the stronger one is. One of them is an Emperor (one of the Yonko) and one of the most powerful characters in the franchise, while the other is the series’ protagonist and the prospective pirate king; the characters in question are Shanks and Monkey D. Luffy.
At this moment, Shanks is still stronger than Monkey D. Luffy. Shanks’ powers are truly amazing and he is known as one of the best fighters in the whole world, and while Luffy is slowly getting to that level, he still has some work to do before reaching Shanks.
The rest of this article will further elaborate on the above-given answer, as we are going to compare Shanks and Luffy in more detail. Through several categories, you are going to see who the stronger of the two is and why our answer is like it is.
Origins & Overview
“Red-Haired” Shanks, is the captain of the Red Hair and one of the Four Emperors. He is also a former member of the legendary Roger Pirates crew, the only group to have successfully conquered the Grand Line. He is the pirate who inspired Luffy on his journey as a pirate. He recovered the Gomu Gomu no Mi which was stolen from a World Government ship, and which was subsequently accidentally eaten by Luffy.
Monkey D. Luffy is a pirate and the main protagonist of the One Piece manga and anime. Luffy is the son of the leader of the Revolutionary Army, Monkey D. Dragon the grandson of the famous Navy hero, Monkey D. Garp. His biggest dream is to become the Lord of the Pirates by finding the legendary One Piece treasure, hidden somewhere in the world by Gol D. Roger.
Luffy’s reputation is growing, that cannot be denied, but he still has to reach the level of infamy and respect that Shanks has achieved. Luffy is the prospective pirate king, but at this moment, Shanks is still a character with a greater reputation and is one of the most feared and well-respected pirates in the whole world.
Point: Shanks (1:0) Luffy
Shanks’ actual abilities remain unknown, as he has yet to be seen seriously engaged in battle. However, as a member of the Four New World Emperors, his raw physical power is believed to be immense, and he is known to be one of the four most powerful pirates in the world.
Shanks did not fear even Whitebeard, the strongest man in the world, and even had enough strength to stand against him, while some pirate captains trembled at the mere mention of his name.
Like most individuals whose names bear the initial D., Luffy naturally possesses great strength and not inconsiderable aptitudes for unarmed combat. Luffy has proven that in addition to his physical strength, he has unwavering determination, willpower and stamina on numerous occasions.
As you can see, the two compare pretty well when pure physical abilities are concerned. Shanks and Luffy are roughly on the same level here, and although one of them might have a small advantage (depending on whom you ask), we think it’s not significant enough for us to not share the points in this category.
Point: Both (2:1)
Shanks is the only one among the Four Emperors that doesn’t have Devil Fruit powers, as he has never eaten one; from what we can gather, it seems that Shanks never had any desire to eat a Devil Fruit whatsoever.
Luffy’s basic combat abilities are enhanced by the fact that he ate the Gomu Gomu no Mi which is in fact one of the rare and coveted Devil Fruits which will later be revealed to be of the Paramecia type.
By eating it, Luffy has obtained an elastic body and is therefore able to stretch very long distances and use this advantage for various and varied uses such as combat, rapid movement over long distances and s’ hang on to objects to avoid falling into some ravines into which it would have been previously pushed. Generally speaking, Luffy’s body parts only lengthen if they are given enough force.
This is where Luffy has the obvious advantage, simply because he does have Devil Fruit powers, while Shanks does not. Shanks has never consumed a Devil Fruit (nor has he shown any interest in doing so), while Luffy – interestingly enough – got his powers from the Devil Fruit Shanks stole from the Navy.
Point: Luffy (2:2) Shanks
Shanks is one of the few people who is able to use all three types of Haki. He has a great mastery of the Haki of Armor and, during the war for supremacy, he used it to block an attack by Akainu, a user of a Rogia fruit. Shanks also knows how to use the Haki of the Conqueror King, owned by one in a million. The first time he demonstrates this ability is during the rescue of Luffy, where he puts the Cliff Lord to flight.
Luffy also developed the special ability to use Haki. There are several kinds, but Luffy is a possessor of the most powerful and the rarest of them, the Royal Fluid (or Haoushoku no Haki). He is also, like Shanks, able to use all three types of Haki, but his Haki skills are certainly on a lower level than Shanks’.
There is absolutely no doubt that this point goes to Shanks. Although Luffy can use the same types of Haki as Shanks and he has gotten better with them, Shanks is arguably the best Haki user in the whole franchise, which means that he is on a completely different level when compared to Luffy.
Point: Shanks (3:2) Luffy
Shanks is generally portrayed as a great swordsman. Ten years ago he was able to swim, so it was assumed that he did not have any fruit and to date there is no indication that he has consumed any. Before losing his arm, his fights against Mihawk were famous, even reaching the ears of Whitebeard himself. Although he has not been seen fighting with his sword long enough to know any of his techniques so far, he has been seen in situations of a true show of force, such as when he collided with swords with Whitebeard, showing practically at his level, despite to have only one arm.
Luffy rarely used standard weapons due to his inexperience and inability to use them. In his childhood, he wielded a metal pipe. In Arlong Park, Luffy briefly tried to fight Arlong with swords and briefly tried to use Arlong’s teeth. In Wano Country, he borrowed the Cursed Sword and Meito, Nidai Kitetsu, though it was mainly used as a prop for his disguise.
This one also goes to Shanks simply because Luffy doesn’t really use weapons. He uses his own body and his powers as weapons, but actual weapons are something he rarely used, simply because he was bad at handling them. On the other hand, Shanks is one of the best swordsmen in the whole franchise.
Point: Shanks (4:2) Luffy
Shanks vs Monkey D. Luffy – Who would win?
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. Let us continue.
Even without our score, this would have been a pretty simple comparison, seeing how Shanks is one of the most important characters in the whole franchise and one of the strongest pirates ever. Sure, Luffy is getting stronger with each new chapter of the manga, but he still hasn’t reached Shanks’ level (or his full potential, for that matter).
Luffy does have the upper hand in the Devil Fruit category and they are more or less on equal terms when pure physical abilities are concerned, but everything else goes to Shanks. He is the better fighter, the better swordsman, and the better Haki user of the two, which is why we are more than certain that Shanks would be able to defeat Luffy at this moment, although it would be a very difficult fight for him.