Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
This a meaningless argument because anyone can qualitatively and objectively state that you can never have infinite time nor tools to destroy a galaxy in the setting you inhabit.

Let me use some OP characters to illustrate why sustained attack power is interesting and arguably matters more than single burst power.

Akainu is Volcano Volcano Man. Have we ever seen a single burst attack from him destroying even a single town? No. What we've seen of him in duels has been pretty underwhelming compared to even, say, Zoro.

But from the condition Punk Hazard was left in, we know his sustained attack power can permanently turn an island into volcanic hellscape. That makes the man worse than nuclear weapons.

Same goes for Whitebeard. We have Akainu's statement that he could "destroy the world", but a lot of people have found Whitebeard retroactively unimpressive. We do see him crack an island and cause a tsunami. That's impressive, but hardly world-destroying. The implication, however, is that Whitebeard could do this all day long if he wanted. He could crack not just any island, but every island he could visit.

This has big implications for any power scaling or duelling arguments. We have no idea and no good proof any which way if people like Akainu or Whitebeard could put all their power in a single attack. The bar for fighting these people one-on-one is probably much lower than matching them in sustained destructive capacity. This means that, for example, Luffy might never need to upgrade to "destroy island with single punch" to plausibly win.

The series even gives us examples of this already being the case. From Luffy versus Crocodile, to Luffy versus Enel, to Mr. 3 versus Magellan, to Luffy and Nami versus Cracker, we know there is a degree of Rock-Paper-Scissors present in how Devil Fruit powers interact. Back when he fought Enel, Luffy wasn't even close to competing with Enel's raw destructive power. He was just arbitrarily immune to it.
Obviously I was exaggerating for effect to make my point about why I go for single shot damage as my buster rating. As for akainu, that was after a solid week of fighting, most likely the entire time at his peak, while a nuke needs only an instant to cause its damage. But if you want to go for long term potential, crocodile could erase entire civilizations given time to work. He could reduce everything alive to dust by draining it dry and bury entire kingdoms in sand. He lands on a beach and starts withering everything around him into sand and dust and moves on from there, absolutely murdering the entire island itself, not just the people and animals on it. And this was a guy who wasnt even able to handle the new world.

But all this is aside from the main point, which is determining luffys power level at dressrosa. And while you can argue about long term potential damage, the generally accepted measurement when people talk about x busting is single shot. Because if you dont go with that, you have to start adding in all sorts of annoying qualifiers like, how long are they allowed to attack for when determining damage potential, do we account for the inevitable reaction of people who would like to see the attack stop? Lets face it, if aikanu went rogue and started turning everything into volcanoes, he wouldnt be given weeks to obliterate islands unopposed, the marines would come after him and while he may be the current strongest on active duty, I doubt they dont have plans in place to handle him if needed. But even if they couldnt stop him they would slow him down which effects his upper total damage potential. We also then have to factor in travel time to get from location to location, etc etc etc. Its simpler to just go "Full power blast, what can it destroy?"