The Marineford arc remains etched in our memories, marked by intense battles and a bitter taste of defeat for piracy. Despite his pure will and unyielding determination, Luffy was weak and failed to rescue Ace from execution.
But, I wonder about what would’ve happened if, at that moment, he had his insane power-up of Wano Country: the Gear 5.
As you can guess, in this blog post, we will answer the question : What if gear 5 Luffy was at Marineford ? We will delve into an alternate plotline where Luffy already possessed the Gear 5 at Marineford.
We are also exploring the changes in the stakes of the battle and its plausible outcome.
As a long-time fan, it’s an honor to share my passion with you, a passion fueled by the One Piece series for nearly 15 years.
So, let’s sail through the Sea of One Piece verse!
How powerful would Gear 5 be in Marineford?
In the arc of Wano Country, the exhaling confrontation between Luffy and the « Strongest Creature » Kaido led to the awakening of an incredible game-changer: « Gear 5 ».
If you want more detail on Gear 5 powers, check our article « What are luffy’s gear 5 powers ?«
What is the true potential of Gear 5?
Gear 5 is the awakened form of the mythical Zoan, the Hito Hito no Mi: Model Nika.
This Devil Fruit was feared and wanted by the Five Elders because of its terrifying power.
Therefore, its existence was erased for years until it reappeared thanks to Shanks.
Later on, Luffy acquired the abilities of the « so-called » Gomu Gomu no Mi.
After Luffy awakened the Gear 5, he burst into a unique kind of power.
He gains the power of the sun god Nika, which allows him to melt the boundaries between imagination and the laws of physics. The user can fight exactly as he imagines.
With the Gear 5 activated, Monkey D. Luffy can fight with his rubber body without any physical limitations and in a cartoonish manner.
This limitless control over his rubber body allows him to do amazing things like inflate himself to a gigantic size or run through the air like a « Looney Tune ».
Don’t worry, we’ve mentioned a few of his feats in Wano to give you a complete overview of his Gear 5 skills.
Oda managed to perfectly implement cartoonish details in manga universes.
The Gear 5 is the gateway for him to express « freedom » even through his drawings.
And it fits the vibes of the sun god Nika, right? By the way, did you ever wonder if Nika was Oda’s persona in One Piece?
How strong is the Gear 5?
One of the mind-boggling abilities of the Gear 5 is the unrestricted control of his body.
Particularly here, when he inflates, both of his limbs and muscles are extended, as a combined effect of the Gear 3 and Gear 4. And, he doesn’t even need to blow air in his body.
It’s phantasmagorical to such an extent, he was able to stretch his arm to the size of Onigashima. Can you imagine the whimsical amount of damage that can be dealt in a single strike? Shocking, isn’t it?
As previously mentioned, he also can enlarge his entire body at once.
You get it: he can become a true giant, for a few moments.
Asides from that, some paramecia alterations have been detected in the Gear 5. Luffy was able to transfer his rubber properties to inanimate objects, and even organic substances.
He used the ground to send a Bolo Breath back to Kaido, by bending and turning it into rubber.
For evidentiary reasons, he was able to:
- grab Kaido, in his full azure dragon form, with a single inflated hand;
- use Kaido in Azure Dragon form as a jumping rope. Disrespectful, as hell;
- defy physics rules by grabbing thunder, in a thor-ish figure.
I’m sure you’re beginning to understand how boundless this power is.
Despite his dreadful power, he is still vulnerable to slicing attacks. And, the worst drawback is exhaustion, just like all unmastered Gears.
Would it change the outcome of the Summit War?
Contrary to normal events, having Luffy in Gear 5 would be a big advantage thanks to his limitless power. Sure, Luffy is no longer as weak as he was in the normal storyline.
And he seems to have a little more chance to turn Marineford’s War into a successful mission.
How different will the stakes be in the Summit War?
First of all, the “Marineford pirate rescue force” had a single purpose: to save Ace D. Portgas.
Therefore, the World Government unleashed the Admirals to proceed with the execution, no matter what. So the only thing at stake for the Marines was Ace’s execution.
But, I wonder about their reaction when the Hito Hito no Mi, Model Nika User allegedly appears out of nowhere on the battlefield.
A power feared by the world government and considered dangerous enough to be hidden from public knowledge.
Such a canvas would mean sticking his head in the lion’s den. The deadly trap for Luffy.
Therefore, Akainu will not be the only Helldog fully involved in the battle as in the normal plot.
From the moment he is identified, Sengoku will surely order all admirals to take down Luffy or kill him. Maybe Garp would be forced to interfere as well.
Besides, even Shanks’ possible arrival in Marineford won’t be enough to weaken their resolve.
The momentum created by the presence of Luffy as the bearer of the Hito Hito no Mi will thus lead to a bloodier and more intense war than what we saw in Marineford.
A single factor that could change the entire history of piracy in the One Piece universe.
Could Luffy save Ace?
We are not unaware of how broken Luffy’s Gear 5 is. However, a couple of things will make a difference this time.
First of all, Luffy would be able to protect Whitebeard from the damage some of the fodders dealt him. And, having Whitebeard’s state preserved would be useful down the road.
In addition, Luffy’s brute force would wreak havoc through the Marine soldier’s lines, as a knife slicing through butter. And, the use of Haki would be a great asset too.
On the second hand, none of the traps of the Marines would be efficient now. Taking a look back to the circling walls which slowed down the swarm of pirates, Luffy can now blow them away with a single oversized punch.
Also, Luffy really struggled with Kizaru to reach the scaffold. But this time, with his “looney toon walk”, he can sort of run in the mid-air, to reach Ace more easily.
Finally, we could expect some wacky interactions like Luffy grabbing Kizaru’s laserbeams or striking back Akainu’s fists rain by bending the ground, the same way he did with Kaido.
The Gear 5 opens some unpredictable ways of interaction.
A single question remains: Would Luffy be able to handle all the Admirals alone?
It’s tricky to answer this question.
Actually, Luffy in Gear 5 didn’t one-shot Rob Lucci as some of us expected.
Let’s note that here, the Marine main figures won’t hold back.
The second problem is the fact that he still doesn’t fully master this Gear.
So, he may be joking around and get mortally wounded. But, we’re counting on his regeneration skills.
A certain takeaway is the following: a Gear 5 Luffy is highly likely to save Ace if the Marineford events were to take place again. He will be a protagonist in this fight and a huge help for Whitebeard !