Nowadays Advanced Connqueror’s Haki and Devil Fruit Awakening clearly seem to be the typical gimmick of the strongest characters. You have one of these two branches of power, or you don’t matter at the highest levels.
Yonkos, Admirals, top members of the Supernovas, top members of the Shichibukai, past legends like Roger, Rayleigh, Whitebeard and Garp. They all use either Advanced Conqueror’s Haki or Devil Fruit Awakening.
Some are unconfirmed users but hey you can be sure that they have. Garp didn’t have a Devil Fruit or a weapon but was on the same level of Roger and Whitebeard: only Advanced Conqueror’s Haki could make that possible, especially since his son has Conqueror’s and his nephew has Advanced Conqueror’s.
If Zoro has Advanced Conqueror’s Haki and states that he needs to be a King on his own in order to become the World Strongest Swordsman, you can bet that the Current World’s Strongest Swordsman Mihawk has it as well. Especially when Mihawk equally rivals with Advanced Conqueror’s Haki user Shanks from the Yonkos.
Same goes for Rayleigh. If Luffy + Zoro, Pirate King and King of Hell, have Advanced Conqueror’s, you can bet Roger + Rayleigh, Pirate King and Dark King, shared the same powers as well.
If the Admirals are as strong and as hyped as they are because of their Devil Fruits, and after what we witnessed to be the mere after effects of their battle in Punk Hazard, it seems crazy to think that they of all people would not have Devil Fruit Awakening.
Both powers are hella impressive, but there seems to be a constant portrayal of Advanced Conqueror’s being at least slightly greater than Devil Fruit Awakening.
After all, the latter is something that can be used by Doflamingo, someone who is far, far weaker than top tiers; and there are hints that characters like Crocodile and Perospero can do this as well. Katakuri uses this and while strong, is still far from being a top tier. While the weakest character that can use Advanced Conqueror’s is Yamato, someone who is still at least as strong as Katakuri, if not, most likely, a tier above.
Also, you could say that Doflamingo and even Katakuri, in spite of having both a Devil Fruit and Conqueror’s Haki, managed to unlock Devil Fruit Awakening but not Advanced Conqueror’s Haki; that might suggest something, but it’s still worth note.
Even some statements seem to suggest that Advanced Conqueror’s is more impressive. Luffy as Conqueror receives more hype than Devil Fruit user Law.
Kaido basically states that the ones who can use Advanced Conqueror’s are top tiers, calling that a power that “only a handful of the strongest can”.
You could say that Devil Fruit Awakening is used by characters of very different levels of strength; while about Advanced Conqueror’s, anyone who uses it is a Low Top Tier at least, like current Luffy, current Zoro and Yamato.
Basically, not all the top tiers use Advanced Conqueror’s Haki (some use Devil Fruit Awakening); but the ones who use Advanced Conqueror’s Haki are top tiers. This seems an irrefutable staple.