During Wano Oda revealed to us the events of God Valley and post Wano. He is now laying the ground work for the second incident similar to that.
-We know Blackbeard is connected to Rock D Xebec somehow, his pirate base in the New World is the same as Rocks and his ship is called Saber of Xebec.
-We know Blackbeard, Shanks and possibly even Buggy are connected to the God Valley Incident given that they would have been shortly after the incident given their respective ages. One of them might be the son of a Celestial Dragon while the other could be the child of Rocks himself. Roger and Rayleigh both mentioned that it’s been a while since they held babies on board the ship whilst holding Hiyori and Momonosuke. The babies were likely Shanks and Buggy. I hope there is a swerve and Blackbeard is just an ordinary guy who inherited the will of Xebec whilst Shanks is the actual son of Xebec or a Celesital Dragon but chose a different path.
-The Road Poneglyph on Fishman Island is no longer there. Jinbe hasn’t said anything about it for some reason. Out of all the Straw Hats, he should know. It’s likely the final Road Poneglyph is on Elbaf and protected by the strongest army in the world. The Road Poneglyph being on Elbaf would give the Straw Hats a reason to go there. It’s clear that Oda isn’t beating around the bush in the New World and that every location they visit has a distinct purpose.
-Luffy’s Grand Fleet hasn’t gotten much play since they were formed. Oda teased that they will be involved in a ‘big incident’ in the chapter where they were formed. Some of us thought it would be Wano but they were never even mentioned.
-Koby was kidnapped by the Blackbeard Pirates. Right now, Koby is primed to be Garp’s successor and currently he even has Garp’s title. Garp and Roger teamed up in the God Valley Incident and it’s possible we’ll se Koby and Luffy team up in a similar way.
-The Straw Hats’ combined bounties did not exceed those of the Roger Pirates and the Whitebeard Pirates. Some of us were expecting that to happen after Wano but it hasn’t so the Straw Hats are likely to have one more bounty raise before the final war/end of the series.
-Oda has set up the main players of the current saga. Cross Guild, the Heart Pirates, the Kid Pirates, the Straw Hats, the Blackbeard Pirates, the Marines and the Revolutionaries. There is a pretty good theory posted by someone who theorized that Carbiou is working for Crocodile.
So here is how I think it will go down; Vegapunk tells the Straw Hats about the origins of the devil fruits and consequently we might learn more about what makes Blackbeard different. The Straw Hats head to Elbaf and along the way we learn about Shanks, Buggy and Blackbeard’s backstories. Crocodile will likely make a play for the ancient weapons which will bring him into conflict with the Straw Hats and also Zoro with Mihawk (maybe a tease of their final battle). There might also be a clash between the Straw Hats and Red Hair Pirates as well. The fight for the final Poneglpyh will happen on Elbaf. The Marines will probably get involved as well.
After the war, the Straw Hat get their final bounty and they head to Laugh Tale. During which we learn about the significance of Joy Boy. We finally get Dragon’s bounty and Luffy meets his father. At this point, I can see Akainu separating the Marines from the World Government and believing that he can use the ancient weapons to bring order to the entire world. In the manga, Oda has always said that the New World will be a survival game. Makes sense that we are introduced to a huge glut of characters and along the way the roster gets whittled down until there is only a handful of characters remaining. And with how powerful some characters are I can see entire arcs being dedicated to certain characters. The status quo gets dismantled in several stages. So:
Elbaf: Blackbeard Pirates vs Straw Hat Pirates
Lodestar/Laugh Tale: Straw Hat Pirates vs Akainu
Final War: Straw Hat Pirates/Revolutionaries vs Imu
What do you think?
*Theory by thedrifter129