In Chapter 1019 the battle between Sasaki and Franky is shown. Sasaki transforms into his hybrid form and demonstrates his ability to spin his Triceratops frill rapidly to fly and gain a speed boost. The General Franky is heavily damaged, forcing Franky to eject from it. Franky manages to knock Sasaki out.
I want to put into perspective how intense this fight with Sasaki was for Franky. Sasaki’s triceratops horns were crumpling the Wapometal General Franky, a metal the Marines specifically used at Marineford to stop Whitebeard’s tremors. The force of those attacks was nothing to scoff at. I really think people forget when it comes to Franky why he calls himself the Invincible Iron Pirate.
I love Oda’s about turn in subverting Sasaki VS Franky, it’s in keeping with how Franky’s fights are usually with some bizarre individuals and also showcasing how strategy can still overcome seemingly stronger opponents on the power scale.
And I’m glad Oda is also introducing more layers into the combat in One Piece. Back in pre-time skip days, Devil Fruits were pretty much king, along with physical strength, martial arts and swordsmanship.
Post-time skip we had the fleshing out of Haki as a primary equaliser.
And slowly, Oda has also been weaving how Technology is also a leveller. We see this from the original Pacifista in the Summit War, to being introduced to Caesar and biochemical weapons, Vegapunk and SSG and now Queen and MAD. And hell, even the Revolutionaries.
In this sense, Franky represents this realm of combat for the Straw Hats and how he is able to level the playing field with his tech and strategies.
Lots of people seem to think Haki is the ultimate power system in One Piece. It’s a power system, but only one of many, and it’s not necessarily stronger than the others. A lot depends on the user. You’ve got various levels of Devil Fruit abilities, various levels of Haki, various levels of Tech, and various levels of the random esoteric martial arts that show up occasionally, and on average, they’re all pretty much equal. It’s not a rock paper scissors kind of thing, as any fighter using any of the power systems can defeat pretty much any fighter of another system, provided that they’re strong enough.