My Hero Academia puts a lot of emphasis on being Number 1, and there are three aspirants of this position. There is a fierce rivalry between Midoriya, Bakugou, and Todoroki.
While none of the boys come remotely close to being the strongest in the manga yet, there is fierce competition and their mentors see their potential to become three of the strongest heroes in the future.
However, the question remains, is Deku, as the future greatest hero, stronger than Bakugou and Todoroki at this point in the series?
[Manga spoilers ahead]
Is Deku stronger than Bakugou and Todoroki in the current My Hero Academia manga arc?
While being number 1 does not directly translate into being the strongest, it is not that far off either. As the protagonist of My Hero Academia and the Ninth holder of One for All, Midoriya Izuku is one of the strongest heroes in training in the manga, and he is getting progressively stronger.
My Hero Academia begins with Deku’s declaration that this is the story of how he became the greatest hero of all time. But it must be noted that “greatest” does not equate to “strongest.”
Other than their fight during the first training simulation, Deku’s fight with Bakugou in ground Beta, and his battle with Todoroki in the U.A. Sports Festival, there has not been a direct fight between Deku and the other two in My Hero Academia.
With the manga having moved forward quite a bit since then, the results of those fights have become insignificant in measuring their powers today.
The difference between their quirks
The chief difference between their quirks is that while both Bakugou and Todoroki have strong emitter type quirks, they use them completely differently. Todoroki’s focus is mostly on controlling his quirks to the best of his ability, while Bakugou’s is getting the most output from his quirk.
This was beautifully illustrated by the training exercises Aizawa had them do during the Forest Training Arc.
With Todoroki, his dual quirks are incredibly powerful on their own and his special moves include little more than adjusting their range and output. But with him having learned how to balance and use them together, as was implied by chapter 336, he might be coming up with an even more deadly attack than Flashfreeze Heatwave.
Bakugou’s quirk, while extremely powerful, is inferior to Todoroki’s in terms of sheer power and output. What makes it so dangerous, and Bakugou, the top student in his class, is the innovative ways he uses it.
Compared to Todoroki’s four special moves, two of which are just maximum outputs of his two quirks, Bakugou has seven special moves, with Stun Grenade having one and AP Shot having two additional super moves of their own.
With this, at this point in the manga, the scales are pretty evenly balanced between the two, maybe leaning slightly towards Bakugou after he had introduced Cluster in My Hero Academia chapter 336. However, Midoriya’s OFA is an entirely different beast.
Current state of One for All
Apart from the base Stockpile Quirk that OFA is known for, it stores six other quirks. Out of those, at this point in My Hero Academia, Midoriya has already received, and somewhat mastered, five quirks: Third User’s Fa Jin, Hikage Shinomori’s Danger Sense, Daigoro Banjo’s Blackwhip, En’s Smokescreen, and Nana Shimura’s Float.
While none of these quirks are particularly powerful on their own, Deku is a genius at using them.
These quirks provide Deku with a range of attacks and a slew of options, the likes of which is beyond anyone else’s grasp. He has the provisions of offense, defense, and subterfuge amongst his quirks.
As Deku continues to master the stockpile aspect of OFA, he also has an increasingly greater output of power which could one day rival All Might’s at his prime.
Currently, Deku can use Full Cowl only at 45% output without severely injuring himself. Additionally, the Second User’s quirk remains unknown. However, it has been foreshadowed that Deku would soon have a complete version of OFA, and for that, the Second User’s quirk is necessary.
With all that being said, Deku’s current power output and his control over OFA put him a little behind his two classmates. While he undoubtedly has the highest potential and will certainly overpower Bakugou and Todoroki in future, his present mastery of OFA in My Hero Academia does not make him stronger than either of his rivals.
However, considering the scope of development that OFA grants Deku, and the number of combinations that can come from its various quirks, it can be safely said that OFA will soon make Deku stronger than both of his peers.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal opinion.