Just for the sake of having a little fun, what do we all predict the lineup for the inevitable showdown between the Straw Hat Pirates and the Blackbeard Pirates to be? Yeah, I'm sure there will be more additions to each crew as the story progresses, but we're going to disregard that (since this really isn't a serious prediction thread) and just stick to the current rosters.
Some of the match-ups are pretty obvious, while others are me grasping for any connection between the fighters or just using process of elimination, and still others are flawed simply because we don't know too much about the Blackbeard crew's powers. Whatever the case, when the battle between the two crews commences, I think it would be cool if the lineup looked like this:
–Straw Hat Luffy vs Blackbeard
As obvious as possible. Captain vs Captain. Blackbeard was the catalyst for Ace's death (even if he wasn't the killer) so this fight should be intensely personal.
--Pirate Hunter Zoro vs Shiryuu of the Rain
Again, we're all expecting this one. Swordsman vs swordsman. Considering Shiryuu was roughly on par with Magellan, who in turn was able to defeat Luffy in combat, that may well make Shiryuu the second most powerful member of the Blackbeard Pirates and thus a perfect opponent for the second most powerful member of the Straw Hat Pirates.
--Cat Burglar Nami vs Crescent Moon Hunter Catarina Devon
Let's face it, as untraditional of a shonen manga as One Piece is, Oda is still going to include the designated girl fight. And there's nothing wrong with that, even if Devon looks like a beast from Hell. I could have predicted Robin vs Devon, but she fits slightly better with a certain other opponent (I'll explain when we get there), but for now I'll also point out that Robin doesn't seem as appropriate for a designated girl fight as Nami does.
--Usopp/King of the Snipers Sogeking vs Supersonic Van Auger
Battle of the snipers. Pretty self-explanatory. And I bet Usopp will be calling upon his mysterious superhero friend to aid him in battle one last time.
--Black Leg Sanji vs Champion Jesus Burgess
Frankly, I was going to put each of them against someone else, but this works out best in the end (yeah, process of elimination). Both of them have no weapons or Devil Fruit powers, and both rely on distinct fighting styles (Sanji on acrobatic kick-based martial arts, Burgess on luchidor-style wrestling if his get-up is any indication). It will be cool to watch how Burgess's emphasis on strength and Sanji's emphasis on speed cause the fight to play out.
--Cotton Candy Lover Chopper vs Grim Reaper Doc Q and Stronger
Pretty simple. Doctor vs doctor; also doubles as animal vs animal. I wonder if Doc Q uses some sort of medicines to change forms or something like that (similar to Chopper). It would be interesting if the battle ends with Chopper stealing said medicine and using it to make a brand new transformation (one time only, of course).
--Demon Child Nico Robin vs Corrupt King Abalo Pizzaro
Not much of a connection between these two. But Pizzaro does seem to be quite the old man. Between that and the "Corrupt King" moniker, he just seems like the type that would be knowledgeable about history. Perhaps he knows something about the Poneglyphs that Robin, a historian, would want to know. Or perhaps as a former corrupt king (if he used to be one; perhaps he was such a tyrant that even the World Government saw him as a threat or embarrassment and locked him away), he tried to censor history, which flies in the very face of Robin's dream to discover the True History. Basically, it boils down to Pizzaro being old and Robin being an archaelologist. Still, more of a connection between them than Nami vs Pizzaro, right? Hence why Robin's not in the designated girl fight.
--Cyborg Franky vs Mighty Drinker Busco Shot
I think that's the guy's name. Whatever the case, I think these two will be a good match if Busco (or Basco or whatever) actually gets his power from alcohol, similar to how Franky gets his power from cola. Imagine Franky drinking the Might Drinker's (or Heavy Drinker's) alcohol and turning into alcohol-powered Franky?
--Dead Bones Brook vs Lafitte
Two deathly pale and extremely skinny characters with fencing swords hidden in their canes. Brook's a musician, and Lafitte may have a musical theme considering he's wearing tap shoes. Seems like a perfect match-up. Plus, even their abilities thus far seem to mimic each others. Lafitte can grow wings while Brook is so light that he can easily travel great distances through the air (not like traversing oceans or anything, but you know what I mean); Lafitte apparently has hypnosis while Brook can use his music to make enemies fall asleep. Plus, here's a fun idea: What if Lafitte's power came from eating an angel-based Devil Fruit (I guess the Angel Angel Fruit?). His being an "angel" would contrast with Brook, a skeleton currently being worshipped by a cult as "Satan".
--Thousand Sunny vs Colossal Battleship San Juan Wolf
We've gone through all the Straw Hats, but Blackbeard still has one last crewmember. Considering this last guy is a giant that makes Oars look like he's the size of a Den Den Mushi, I doubt that he'd be fighting any one member of the Straw Hats (considering how it took all the Straw Hats to take down Oars). Plus, we haven't seen any real ship combat in One Piece (outside of the Going Merry blowing up 2 Marine ships at the end of the Alabasta arc). With all the cool stuff the Thousand Sunny has, it would be a shame if no one ever used it. And who better against than a villain nicknamed "Colossal Battleship". Perhaps Blackbeard traded in that pathetic raft for a giant to ride on top of. Heck if that's the case, that would essentially mean it's the Straw Hat's ship vs Blackbeard's ship (all the Straw Hats would, of course, be on the Sunny during the fight). A real ship-to-ship battle would be new territory for One Piece.
Now I'm sure half of that will turn out to be false. But with the rosters of both sides being currently what they are, I think it will be interesting if some of these battles actually happen. It's just fun to try to guess who will fight who, even though it will be years before the two crews ever fight. So how do you guys think the battle will go down?