Very few of the pirates featured in One Piece are as fearsome as Roronoa Zoro and Trafalgar Law. Being two of the strongest Eleven Supernovas, Zoro and Law are major members of the infamous Worst Generation.
"Pirate Hunter" Zoro, Monkey D. Luffy's right-hand man, aims to become the World's Strongest Swordsman. On the other hand, "Surgeon of Death" Law leads the Heart Pirates, and craves to discover the meaning of the mysterious "Will of D." The Law vs Zoro matchup is a trending debate among One Piece fans. Regardless of the winner, a fight between them would be absolutely amazing.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1081 and reflects the writer's personal views.
Zoro and Law are two of the strongest rising pirates in One Piece
Zoro and Law's status in the One Piece world
Law received a bounty much higher than Zoro's, but bounties don't purely reflect one's individual power. They mostly depict how much the criminal threatens the World Government. Luffy, Kid, and Law were awarded the same bounty simply because they were the captains of the three allied crews.
The captain of Straw Hats defeated Kaido in a 1v1 battle, while Kid and Law barely overcame Big Mom, who is weaker than Kaido, in a 2v1 fight. Moreover, Luffy's previous bounty was no less than three times higher than Kid and Law's. The Straw Hat Pirates' captain's achievements and individual strength far surpass theirs, making their rivalry totally unbalanced. Recent One Piece chapters emphasized this even more with Law and Kid being annihilated by Blackbeard and Shanks.
These outcomes further highlighted that Kid and Law never stood a chance against Luffy, whose true rivals in the rush for the One Piece are Shanks and Blackbeard. Thus, there's no reason to rate Law's status above that of Zoro.
Zoro is Luffy's right-hand man and the only crewmember who is, to a certain extent, comparable in power to him. Given his superior strength, Zoro has often acted as the vice-captain, protecting Luffy when in danger and replacing him if needed.
Luffy and Zoro make a formidable duo. The green-haired pirate didn't join Luffy as an inferior subordinate but as a partner who followed him out of trust. He even threatened to kill him if he hindered his dream to become the World's Strongest Swordsman.
Like "Dark King" Rayleigh for Roger, "King of Hell" Zoro is a shadow captain for Luffy. These right-hand men are especially strong, being able to properly support their captains in battle and even substitute them whereas needed. The green-haired pirate's powerful figure has often led bystanders into wondering why he doesn't lead the Straw Hats, or his own crew. However, Zoro decided to follow Luffy, and honors this promise by not stepping out of his position unless strictly necessary.
Law is Luffy's rival, but he is much weaker than him. Zoro's status as Luffy's highly-respected right-hand man doesn't pale in the slightest compared to that. If anything, as the future World's Strongest Swordsman, Zoro's individual hype surpasses that of Law. Moreover, his status as a natural-born Supreme King who can use Advanced Conqueror's Haki, the signature power of the mightiest One Piece characters, implies that his ambition and potential are greater than Law's.
Zoro's feats compared to Law's throughout One Piece
Before the Wano arc, Zoro and Law seemed comparable. They both showcased enough destructive power to cut mountains, although Zoro relied on his Armament Haki and physical strength, Law used the powers of his Ope-Ope Fruit.
The two Supernovas respectively annihilated Vergo and Pica, whose overall power was very similar. Zoro and Law also shared the same feat of being able to defend themselves from Admiral Fujitora's Press-Press Fruit.
Law was no match for Doflamingo, who Luffy outclassed using the Gear 4 form. Zoro's Three Sword Style seemed more than comparable to Luffy's Gear 2 and 3 forms, and his Nine Sword Style was a step above that. Hence, in Dressrosa, an all-out Zoro might have been a fair amount stronger than Law.
Earlier in the Wano arc, both Supernovas displayed clear superiority over fellow Worst Generation member Basil Hawkins. Law fought him on two separate occasions. In the first fight, he had some trouble with Hawkins, but in the second clash, he convincingly defeated him.
With just a Two Sword Style and not even using Haki, Zoro notably overpowered one of Hawkins' strongest techniques, destroying two of his complessive ten lives at the cost of a few scratches, which he would not have even incurred had he not had to protect other people.
During the battle against the Emperors, Zoro proved himself stronger than Law, showcasing enough power to deeply cut through Kaido's scales and wound him. Big Mom was worried about Kaido's incolumity to the point where she warned him to dodge Zoro's incoming attack.
Zoro was able to partially block Kaido and Big Mom's combined attack, while Law had trouble parrying even a basic strike from Kaido alone. Despite the wounds he suffered as a result of Kaido and Big Mom's Hakai, Zoro continued fighting, leaving Law astonished.
Using his Nine Sword Style, Zoro overpowered Kaido in a direct clash and severely injured him, leaving him with a scar, a feat that not even the joint effort of the Nine Red Scabbards could achieve. Once again, Law himself was left in awe at Zoro's might.
Zoro then started fighting King, the right-hand man of Kaido. Meanwhile, Law teamed up with Kid against the mighty Big Mom. Zoro started coating his attacks with Conqueror's Haki, while Law evolved the Ope-Ope Fruit to Awakening.
The 2v1 set-up of the battle allowed Kid and Law to perform feats that they would never have been able to replicate if they had fought Big Mom individually. They helped each other, exploiting the blindsides to hit her from behind and then land consecutive attacks on her.
Admittedly, Law's Devil Fruit Awakening attacks were impressive. However, they failed to make Big Mom lose consciousness, despite being combined with Kid's own techniques. Although Big Mom was clearly damaged, she endured all their attacks.
Moreover, she ended up losing because she was falling into the void as a result of their strikes. Unsurprisingly, when they had to fight 1v1 with an Emperor, Kid, and Law suffered onesided annihilation at the hands of Shanks and Blackbeard, respectively.
After unleashing the true strength of his Haki, Zoro crushed King. With regards to durability, King's Lunarian powers allowed him to even surpass Kaido, which means that defeating him was no small feat from Zoro.
As the author has implied countless times, Haki is the mightiest power in One Piece, even surpassing Devil Fruits. Zoro was already stronger than Law before their respective power-ups, and gained a greater upgrade. This puts him a step above Law as a fighter.
Zoro's abilities compared to Law's
Fighting the "Surgeon of Death" is always risky, but if put in a 1v1 battle against a competent foe, Law is not even as effective as he is in a team fight. Most of his best feats have been achieved in such contexts rather than in individual confrontations.
With his target distracted by others, Law's Devil Fruit powers will certainly strike. Instead, if he is 1v1 against a skilled foe, things will become much harder for him, as seen in the battle against Doflamingo.
The recent annihilation that Kid and Law suffered against Shanks and Blackbeard is nothing to be ashamed of. However, it highlighted that they are not even remotely strong enough to fight individual battles against One Piece's top tier characters.
Compared to Law, Zoro possesses far superior Haki, swordsmanship, speed, and physical strength. It would be a suicide for Law to physically approach him. However, this is the only way he can hit him with Shock Wille and Puncture Wille.
To perform these attacks, he has to focus his Room into the sword, meaning that he can't use Shambles, which needs Room to be spread around the surroundings. Losing the unpredictability granted by Shambles, Law needs to approach his opponent without tricks.
Law's tactical skills and Devil Fruit powers could help him take Zoro off guard, but the latter is tough enough to endure at least one Shock Wille. After that, he would be prepared. Using his much superior Haki and physical prowess, he wouldn't let Law hit him again.
Concerning Law's other attacks, Zoro won't be surprised, as he has complete knowledge of them beforehand. His much stronger Haki would enable him to block most techniques of the Ope-Ope Fruit. Moreover, he has the speed to dodge and the toughness to endure some hits.
Only Awakening-enhanced attacks would hurt Zoro for real, but to land them, Law would be forced to engage him head on. Combining the advanced versions of Armament Haki and Conqueror's Haki in the "King of Hell Style", Zoro would significantly overpower Law.
The real power of Zoro's King of Hell-enhanced attacks is yet to be witnessed in the series, as the green-haired swordsman only needed a few hits to win the only battle where he used it. Techniques like Death Lion Song, Billion-fold World Trichiliocosm, and Ashura, are so fast that Law wouldn't be able to dodge. Being enhanced by a combination of Advanced Conqueror's Haki and Armament Haki, these attacks also have enough power and lethality to kill Law on the spot.
Zoro is versed at dashing towards his enemies and cutting them in the blink of an eye, as well as reacting to their moves and swiftly timing his counterattack. He is also a Haki master, further making it clear that Law will be overpowered in a head-on confrontation.
Zoro's upgraded Haki doesn't only increase his power output but also allows him to repel his enemy without even touching him. Using these special Haki barriers, as well as attacks like the Dragon Twister, which allow him to lay waste all around himself, Zoro can prevent Law from flanking him.
Summing up how Zoro vs Law would end
The "Pirate Hunter" can move faster, react quicker, endure worse injuries, and exert greater physical strength than Law. The "Surgeon of Death" can use his Ope-Ope Fruit to balance the score with Zoro's superior physical capabilities and swordsmanship.
However, the significant gap in Haki decisively tilts the scales in Zoro's favor, allowing him to overcome Law, though it won't be easy, as the latter is certainly not a pushover. A fight between the two Supernovas would be thrilling for all One Piece fans.
Law will resort to using Shock Wille and Puncture Wille. However, focusing the Room on his sword will stop him from using Shambles, forcing him to challenge Zoro head-on. This will eventually lead to Zoro taking him down with an Advanced Conqueror's Haki-enhanced slash.
Like Fujitora, Kaku, Brook, and others, Law is considered a swordsman regardless of having Devil Fruit powers. At this point in One Piece, Zoro is bound by the narrative to be stronger than any swordsman who is not a certified top tier, and Law, despite his remarkable strength, clearly is not.
During the battle between Emperors and Worst Generation, Zoro outclassed Law. Afterwards, both upgraded their strength with power-ups, with the former receiving an even greater one than the latter. Hence, Zoro was stronger at that time and remains stronger now.
Poll : Did Law and Kid deserve to have the same bounty as Luffy?