How strong is Blackbeard without his Devil Fruits? There’s only 1 person who truly knows how strong he is and that is Shanks. When did Shanks get his scar?
Shanks (27 years old) was first seen in chapter 1 with Luffy who was 7 years old at the time, although Shanks arrived at Foosha Village when Luffy was 6 years old.
In the Edd War which occurred 3 years before Roger’s execution, Shanks didn’t have a scar and he was 12 years old at the time and 15 at Roger’s death.
If we remember, Shanks told Whitebeard that he didn’t receive this scar from Mihawk, it means Shanks fought with Blackbeard around the time his duels with Mihawk were widely known about.
Based on current information, in my opinion, Shanks fought Teach probably on his way to Foosha Village from the Grand Line which puts him between the ages of 25-26 when he fought Teach.
Time span between Roger’s death and 7 years old Luffy?
Luffy was 17 years old when Shanks and Whitebeard met on the Moby Dick and 22 years had flown by since Roger’s death. So when Luffy was 7 years old, 12 years had gone by since Roger died; Roger died 5 years before Luffy was born.
Haki was a common thing in the New World even back then?
Chinjao claimed to have fought Garp 30 years ago to a 19 years old Luffy, so this grudge Chinjao harboured against Garp had begun to grow 11 years before Luffy was born. This means we saw Chinjao and Garp use Haki 6 years before Roger’s death, so Haki was already something common in the New World and a requirement to survive.
If Shanks was sailing with Roger at the age of 12, he must have been a pretty exceptional pirate and must have been very well aware of Haki especially being under the counsel of Roger and Rayleigh.
Shanks vs Blackbeard
Shanks: “Whitebeard…I’ve gone through many battles and suffered various wounds, but what aches now is this one! This isn’t a wound from adventures, nor did I get this from Mihawk. Your man Blackbeard was the one who inflicted this wound! And it’s not like I was careless. Do you understand what I’m trying to say here Whitebeard!? He’s been waiting for a chance…he didn’t take a position of a captain or make himself known; all this time, he’s been hiding in the shadow of the famous Whitebeard! – and now he’s gained “power” and started to take action.”
Shanks makes sure to emphasize that despite fighting daily with Mihawk, the one who gave him is facial scar was none other than Teach himself and it wasn’t a careless mistake on his part, but testament to Teach’s strength alone; this heavily implies that Teach himself is stronger than Mihawk too.
Not only does Shanks point out that Teach was able to scar him, he also insists that the Great Whitebeard should not go after Teach denoting how much of a threat he considers Teach to be, despite the fact he’s speaking to the World’s Strongest Pirate.
Why Shanks attacked Whitebeard
It’s obvious from Whitebeard’s expression that he doesn’t believe Teach is as strong as Shanks is making out and this is why Shanks attacks Whitebeard to prove his own strength to Whitebeard as indication that Teach’s power parallels his.
Some of the Whitebeard Pirates think Shanks attacks Whitebeard in an attempt to initiate a war, but Marco says Shanks isn’t that reckless.
For Marco to so confidently not be intimidated by Shank’s reckless move is proof that he deems Whitebeard stronger and Shanks probably knows this too. The Red Hair Pirates are also quite calm because they know Shanks is just trying to make a point in proving just how strong Teach is.
What does this mean?
It means Teach is as strong as Shanks which is why he pleaded with Whitebeard to have Ace pull out of his hunt for Blackbeard. At this point Shanks hasn’t even fought Teach with his Devil Fruit, so it’s quite indicative of just how powerful Teach is without a devil fruit.
Another thing to take into account is despite the fact the Yami Yami no Mi negates Devil fruit powers, it also makes his opponent’s attacks stronger. His resistance to pain is testament to his strength too or the attacks from both Sengoku and Garp would have killed him despite the pain being amplified by his fruit.
If Teach is so strong, why does he need 2 Devil Fruits?
One thing we’ve learnt about Teach is that he’s pragmatic and objective, he holds no grudges and doesn’t do anything unnecessarily. He also has no pride and is willing to be belittled for his goals, this is why the Whitebeard Pirates never truly knew how strong he was and why Whitebeard didn’t believe Shanks.
How smart Teach is?
Blackbeard knows being powerful enough to be a Yonko is not enough, but with 2 Devil Fruits he’s much stronger than any Yonko out there and more so once he masters the Gura Gura no Mi.
Right now, he has a Devil Fruit that negates devil fruit abilities as effectively as Kairoseki (seastone) and another Devil Fruit which deals more damage than any other; this shows just how much smarter Teach is compared to other pirates and how much planning along with patience he’s put into fulfilling his goals.
*Theory by Hannibal Psyche