Among the opponents that the Strawhats faced during One Piece's last arc were King and Queen. The former was defeated by Zoro, while the latter lost to Sanji.
While all One Piece fans know that King is stronger than Queen, not everyone agrees on how large the difference in strength is between the two members of the Beasts Pirates. Follow this article to learn every detail on the subject.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1062 and reflects the writer's personal views.
King is a far stronger character than Queen in One Piece
Being Kaido's right-hand man, King has a much higher status than Queen
In One Piece, a remarkable difference in power separates the average Commanders from the most powerful ones. The second strongest in the crew often holds the rank of right-hand man to the captain.
While he and Queen, alongside Jack, are the three All Stars of the Beasts Pirates, King has a special status that sets him apart from his two colleagues. He is Kaido's right-hand man and his Number Two, i.e., his strongest and most loyal subordinate. Kaido personally recruited him as his second-in-command after witnessing his strength and being impressed by it.
King was officially confirmed to be the second strongest man in Beasts Pirates, more powerful than any other member, except for Kaido. This was depicted with the color spread of chapter 1031, which showed the line-up of the "Number Twos," the second strongest individuals from some crews, featuring Zoro for the Strawhats, Rayleigh for the Roger Pirates, King for the Beasts Pirates, and more.
In the subsequent SBS, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda certified that all the characters portrayed in the chapter 1031 color spread are the second strongest men in their crew. Hence, King is undisputably stronger than Queen. He is comparable to individuals such as Marco and Katakuri, his counterparts. All of them are noticeably more powerful than Queen.
Gags aside, King received a much more prominent highlight in One Piece
Kaido assigned him the name "King" to replace his real name, Alber, to emphasize his remarkable fighting capabilities. On the contrary, Kaido never praised Queen's strength. Thus, King enjoys a different status compared to Queen.
King received that name from Kaido precisely by virtue of his strength. The hierarchy of All Stars is based on poker, where the "king" card holds more value than the "queen" and the "jack" cards. As a result, the formerly-called Alber is implied to be a far more powerful individual than his fellow All Stars.
King was highlighted as Kaido's most trusted and prominent subordinate. When he understood he was about to be defeated by Zoro, he thought about his captain. Similarly, when the Emperor was on the verge of losing against Luffy, he remembered his right-hand man. Throughout the entire One Piece, Queen was never depicted to have any kind of connection with Kaido.
Queen and King often bicker, leading some One Piece fans to think that they are rivals. However, this appears to be far from the truth. Not only is King depicted and confirmed to be a fair amount stronger than Queen, but the two, being part of the same crew, aren't even contenders.They just don't get along due to their different personalities and manner.
One Piece author Eiichiro Oda made sure to portray the difference between them. He had Queen admire King's strength, praising him as a monster capable of surviving any situation. On the other hand, he never had King express any sort of respect for Queen's strength.
Interestingly enough, Kaido and King's strongest moves are blatant references to one another. Both of their attacks involve a giant avatar of magma-like fire enhanced with Haki and shaped in the form of a dragon. The only difference is that Kaido has an even greater scale and power than King.
Another analogy between Kaido and King is that the former was defeated by Luffy, the Strawhats captain and the future Pirate King, while the latter was beaten by Zoro, Luffy's right hand man and the future World's Strongest Swordsman.
Given that Zoro is a Number Two who is very close in strength to his captain, he also fought against Kaido, Luffy's opponent, displaying crazy feats and using his strength to protect his captain. During the fierce battle, he saved Luffy's life many times. Zoro's attacks threatened Kaido's life more than once, even inflicting him with a wound that left a scar.
The parallel is further accentuated by the fact that later, to defeat Kaido, Luffy would have to prove himself as a "King." This involved unlocking the Advanced Conqueror's Haki, which, in conjunction with the Awakening of Nika-Nika Fruit, was crucial to the Emperor's loss. Later, to win against King, Zoro would also have to prove himself as a "King," unlocking Advanced Conqueror's Haki as well.
The same power, which is seen as an ability that "only a handful of the very strongest" could use, was needed for both Kaido and King. This is a testament to their strength. However, such an asset was not needed to defeat Queen, who lost against Sanji after the latter unlocked the genetic enhancements of his family.
King's Lunarian powers make him much more threatening than Queen
In the current One Piece world, King is the only known survivor of the Lunarians, a lost race whose members were hailed as gods. A testament to the incredible might of this lineage is the Marines' Special Science Group, who chose Lunarian powers as the foundation to create the Seraphim Unit, a group of newly upgraded Pacifistas that are strong enough to replace the Seven Warlords.
Seraphims, for instance, have shown enough power to put pressure on Blackbeard, one of One Piece's Four Emperors. They were also able to come out of that clash and the entire siege of Amazon Lily completely unscathed. This was all because their bodies were imprinted with Lunarian powers, enhancing their durability at crazy levels.
While King's signature power received such emphasis, Queen's abilities did not receive a comparable highlight throughout One Piece. As a matter of fact, King's defensive and offensive capabilities completely outclasses Queens's.
As the heir to the Lunarian race, King's body, which is also further enhanced by the Dragon-Dragon Model: Pteranodon Fruit, can withstand extremely powerful attacks without shedding a single drop of blood. If he switches off the flame burning at his back, his signature durability will decrease, but he will gain a massive speed boost in exchange.
King's durability is such that he was able to come out unscathed from Zoro's attacks. Despite being a powerful Haki master and swordsman who cut through Kaido's dragon scales and severely wounded the Emperor, Zoro needed to improve his destructive abilities by unlocking the Advanced Conqueror's Haki to be able to wound King's resilient Lunarian body.
On the other hand, Queen's body bled after getting struck by Chopper, a fighter weaker than Zoro. Despite enduring many hits before finally being defeated, Queen was damaged by Sanji's attacks, whose powers are significantly weaker than Zoro's attacks.
Moreover, it was shown that Queen suffered damage and screamed in pain after being hit by his own explosion, which was relatively reduced in size and power output. Meanwhile, King was completely undamaged after a far more massive explosion. All these direct comparisons show that he is much tougher and more difficult to hurt than Queen.
King also has much greater raw power and offensive capabilities. Due to his Lunarian powers, he can freely create fire and manipulate it. He is able to coat his limbs with flames to enhance his punches, kicks, and slashes. He can also unleash powerful fire blasts with noticeable range or let himself explode, generating massive detionations.
Like magma, which in the One Piece world is much stronger than a normal fire, King's flames are very powerful. This skill granted him the moniker of "Wildfire." However, Zoro, who was able to endure a combined attack from two Emperors and continued to fight after that, stated that King's explosion would have killed him if he didn't coat himself in Haki.
Whether relying on his Ancient Zoan Fruit powers or his Lunarian fire abilities, King can unleash attacks with enough power to destroy large pieces of Onigashima. These feats completely eclipse Queen's, whose attacks were shown to destroy no more than some walls. Hence, King's scale of raw power significantly dwarfs Queen's.
King is a fearsome fighter, while Queen seems a mad scientist
While the One Piece author emphasized King as a deadly fighter, he showed Queen as incapable of using his skills properly. King is depicted as a well-rounded killer machine. He wields the power of a race of gods that can survive anything. He also excels in every area of combat. Meanwhile, Queen appears clumsy and resembles a mad scientist rather than a fighter.
In addition to his Zoan and Lunarian powers, King possesses great swordsmanship skills and Armament Haki. He could clash equally with Zoro and even overpower him before the latter unleashed his Conqueror's Haki. On the other hand, Queen's Haki and basic fighting abilities were poor. He was only dangerous due to his cybernetic enhancements.
While King is a speedy and mobile character, who can fly at high speed to dodge incoming attacks and blitz the opponent, Queen is slow and static. He cannot dodge, relying on his passive durability as an Ancient Zoan to survive the attacks he receives. As a result, if the enemy targets Queen with a powerful move, he is pretty much screwed.
Queen can use lasers, but could never successfully hit any of his opponents, who were always able to dodge. His most powerful move is the Brachio Bomber, which is strong but would never work during a real battle, as it requires the target to stand still and let Queen set up a trap. He could only try to set that up by using his technique to become invisible.
However, Queen is rather clumsy and awkward in his movements. Thus, the attempt would most likely fail. His viruses are dangerous, but they must be spread by a weapon. Given that Zoro's most casual attack countered Queen's effort to use it, the viruses will likely not work on any competent One Piece fighter.
Zoro vs King compared to Sanji vs Queen
The idea of Queen being almost as strong as King is a theory that some One Piece fans tried to promote, with many suggesting that Sanji, who defeated the former, should be comparable in strength to Zoro, who beat the latter. However, considering all the evidence, both arguments appear to be completely flawed.
Not only is King a stronger fighter than Queen, but Zoro did remarkably better against the former than Sanji defeated the latter.
Zoro was in trouble against King, unable to damage him and losing most of their clashes. However, he managed to keep up and hold his own to a point. Zoro was also nerfed during that fight. The Minks' medicine healed the damage his body suffered in the fight against Kaido and Big Mom, but his Haki hadn't been replenished. This hindered him because Enma stole his Haki as well.
Sanji wasn't just on the losing end against Queen, even though he was "killed" factually. Queen's Brachio Snake attack struck him and broke all his bones, destroying his trunk. Luckily for him, his power up coincidentally awakened at that moment. Thanks to his genetic enhancements kicking in, Sanji's body survived, creating an exoskeleton. Had that not happened, he would have died.
When the two fights reached their climax, with Zoro and Sanji unleashing their respective power-ups, the disparity between the two Strawhats became even clearer.
After unleashing the upgraded stage of his Conqueror's Haki, Zoro annihilated King, overpowering whatever the latter tried. Even the Lunarian's final move, a giant dragon of magma-like flames, was obliterated. King was unable to do anything in front of Zoro's overwhelming power and was defeated, with his sword broken and one of his wings torn off.
After using his Ifrit Jambe, Sanji defeated Queen but could not dominate him. Before ending the fight, he struggled, needing many hits to defeat his opponent, and getting struck and damaged twice. While Zoro beat King in a final head-on clash, Sanji's victory over Queen was ambiguous, with the latter getting distracted over a woman and losing focus on the fight.
If the two Strawhats had exchanged their opponents, Zoro would have brutally defeated Queen, most likely without even needing to make a serious commitment. On the other hand, Sanji doesn't appear to be strong enough to win against King, let alone outclass him as Zoro did.
Even before his power up, Zoro's attacks were strong enough to cut through Kaido's skin, severely wounding him. Big Mom even screamed in fear when the swordsman was about to unleash one of his slashes. After gaining the Advanced Conqueror's Haki, Zoro improved further. At this point, a single strike from him would be enough to kill Queen.
Sanji had to use his Ifrit Jambe to fight on the same grounds as King. Not being able to maintain that technique for more than a few moments before quickly tiring himself, he ended up being overpowered. His physique can't be compared to King's tough pteranodon wings and his almost invulnerable Lunarian body.
In the final arcs of One Piece, Sanji could possibly reach and even surpass King's level, but at the moment he doesn't seem prepared to fight against an opponent who even Zoro needed the all-powerful Advanced Conqueror's Haki to beat.
It seems reasonable to assume that the difference in strength between King and Queen is massive. This is also a widely shared opinion among One Piece fans.
Suffice to say, King is officially confirmed to be more powerful, as depicted in the color spread of chapter 1031 and later in the flashback in chapter 1035 that revealed that Kaido choosing him as his right-hand man because of his strength. In fact, no technique in Queen's arsenal remotely compares to King's Lunarian and Zoan powers.
In One Piece, King is shown to be an overall stronger and better fighter than Queen. He is much faster and physically stronger. With his Lunarian powers, he outclasses the latter in both offense and defense.
With Zoro having defeated King in a more clear-cut way and with greater dominance than Sanji was able to defeat Queen, it appears that the former achieved a better accomplishment. This is not surprising, given that no Strawhat member receives the same portrayal as Zoro.
The author sometimes puts Sanji in a similar class to him, as the two wings that support the captain and are his biggest pillar within the crew. However, while maintaining the aforementioned dynamic, Oda sets Zoro apart, putting him on a higher pedestal in strength, importance, and leadership. He is depicted as close to Luffy, which makes sense given that Zoro is the latter's right-hand man.
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