I apologize for the length. If this actually develops into a smart thought-provoking thread, then you all will command my respect for reading through my initial post.
This is a reboot of a post I made back when Rayleigh first appeared, when I was a member of One Piece manga V.2., along with some additional information that we have today:
Luffy defeated Lucci who was at 4000 douriki. 10 douriki is for the average able-bodied strong marine. 500 is considered superhuman. This means that medium level pirates in One Piece should be at around this figure.
Let's give the pirates on Thriller Bark an average 200 douriki (and that's to my opinion waaay too large but let's go with this anyway), then Luffy effectively injected 40 thousand douriki into his body. This means he absorbed ten times his strength, and was therefore 10 times stronger than Gear 2 Luffy at the time he fought with Lucci. (Gear 2nd Luffy at that time was on par with Lucci's 4000).
However, it is clear that Luffy got a lot stronger in between Lucci and Moria, because he was able to severely damage Moria in Shadows Asgard which is a lot more than even Nightmare Luffy. What this probably means is that Luffy's Gear 2nd state was approximately doubled in power, making Nightmare Luffy not 10, but actually 5 times stronger than Gear 2nd Luffy. Assuming you followed and agreed with the numbers, then this is sort of the situation with strength.
This however also doesn't make sense because if we gave the people of the island 200 douriki on average then Shadows Asgard Moria would then be 200 thousand douriki, or five times stronger than Nightmare Luffy, and twenty-five times stronger than Gear 2nd Luffy, and therefore impossible to be beat by Gear 2nd Luffy. I also don't think that Gear 2+3 makes a twenty-five-fold increase in power. If however, you are comfortable with the fact that Luffy can beat someone who is 25 times stronger than him, you could very well be right too, because power-levels only measure strength in ability to give and take damage, and not fighting ability per-se. In this sense a person who can fight to their fullest can still beat someone who, even though a lot stronger, can't keep up with their fighting skill. Also as evidence, Gear 2nd Luffy is VERY far away from being able to split open an island with a punch, further supporting these figures.
What all this huge rambling means is that, if Rayleigh is 100 times stronger than Luffy, then he would need to have approximately 800 thousand douriki. This means 20 times stronger than Nightmare Luffy, and 4 times stronger than Shadows Asgard Moria, who split an Island with just one punch.
Now, I don't know about you, but this seems, to me, VERY VERY UNLIKELY. I don't think people who can punch through 4 thriller barks put one over the other can possibly exist. This would completely fuck up One Piece power scale. Essentially if Rayleigh can split an island with his fist, then could Whitebeard, the strongest man in the world, destroy the Gates of Justice, then Marineford?
Also, Kaidou is one of the Yonkou, and as such you would expect him to be near the power level of his counterparts, unless he is very weak when compared to the other ones. This doesn't seem right considering that Moria thought that a 300 million shadow on Oz could beat Kaidou. I mean, if a coater is so vastly incredibly strong so as to put Luffy and Oz and Moria to shame, then Moria either greatly fucked up his appraisal of Kaidou's strength, or Kaidou didn't fight seriously. Even another thing is that if there are people who are this strong, then the Schichibukai should be on a completely different league than this. Crocodile was accepted into them but was lightyears away from the current Luffy.
Anyway, I’m wondering what this all means for One Piece strength. How is it measured? What is considered as strength by Shakky, who is obviously a very experienced pirate? Why is there no apparent consistency? If we assume that lvl 6 in Impel Down has prisoners that are stronger than Moria, then why the hell can’t they break out through sheer physical force? It just seems unlikely that pirates who are so freakishly strong be able to simply be locked up in prisons of stone and steel and that’s that.
Is it about haki and not physical strength? Is it eventually going to turn into Ki, Reiatsu or Chakra? If it is the sole decider of power at high levels, then how does DF usage factor in? What has been shown with the Kizaru/Rayleigh fight is that at the highest tiers of power, DFs don’t make a lot of difference anyway, except for perhaps Blackbeard’s against other DFs. Even Logias, the most powerful fruits, are rendered useless by this superhuman quality. And yet, even BB who is clearly extremely strong and experienced recongnizes that DFs grant advantages; otherwise he would not have showcased his power stealing properties as the ultimate DF ability. I really wouldn’t know. Of course it gives relatively weak people a huge boost in power, especially Logias, so perhaps it is a tradeoff for an easier startup.
I simply don’t understand what makes a good fighter in OP. I mean, some of them have shown great fighting abilities and superhuman power that does not come from a DF. And yet, there are clearly a lot of Marines, including Garp, who use haki and yet are not considered stronger than Aokiji; who at least so far has only shown off the use of his DFs and not much physical prowess, and yet is considered the strongest marine. Perhaps it is the military power of Logias that is so feared. Perhaps smart Logias stay away from strong physical opponents and shoot hax rays of electricity, explosions, or freezing beams to which there is no real counter? If this is the case, then perhaps Blackbeard has a point in that his Kurouzu (black hole) ability does in fact render what perhaps is the only winning strategy left against him useless, as well as making him a universally dangerous opponent regardless of the opposing strategy.
So what is it then? Can a person who completely masters Haki level the playing field regardless of the DF he is up against? If so, then why would Blackbeard bother to get a power nullifying DF? Perhaps he cannot achieve the necessary level? Or is it that a person who can also use haki and has a DF can eventually counteract the effects of haki on their defensive properties, thus making DFs still have an advantage over regular fighters at the same level of power? Perhaps Rayleigh can overwhelm Kizaru’s DF, but not Aokiji’s, who is perhaps stronger-willed? This could make sense, but again we don’t know.
Lastly, I apologize again, this is by far the longest post I have ever made, and I am sorry for you and for me(and Michael). If you read it all, tell me what you think about strength in One Piece.
Side Note: What will Whitebeard bring into the table that will be so awesome as to undisputedly place him as the strongest man with all the things we have seen?