Uraraka worried about Deku and Bakugo

Deku vs Bakugo. The fated battle between men as Uraraka put it. Throughout the history of anime, especially in the shounen genre, many rivalries have breathed into life. To list a few: Naruto vs Sasuke, Vegeta vs Goku, Light vs L, and the list goes on. Over the years, there is a question that often comes up between these pairings. Who is stronger? Since I’ve been talking a lot about My Hero Academia lately, I figured I would try to formulate an answer to this question. Don’t worry about spoilers Senpai will only talk about what’s happened in the anime. I will try to dissect each event in the anime and compare their strength until the current timeline.

And the winner between Deku vs Bakugo goes to….

Izuku Midoriya. From season 1 to season 3, Bakugo is stronger than Deku, but Deku has closed the gap between them in that short amount of time. In season 3, their power level is almost equal, but Bakugo still wins. By the end of season 4, Deku gains more experience has more control of his quirk and develops new skills while Bakugo didn’t improve much. Bakugo is now trailing behind Deku in terms of strength and power.

UA Entrance Exam

Deku vs Bakugo. Who is stronger? During the entrance exam it's evident that Bakugo is stronger

I started with this timeline because it’s interesting to see how they both have progressed throughout the anime. The entrance exam is also the starting point of Deku’s journey to becoming the strongest hero. Before this, Deku did not have a quirk, and that automatically disqualifies him from being compared to Bakugo.

The answer as to who is stronger between them at this point is pretty evident from the picture above. I’m sure this comes with no surprise. The power difference is massive not only between Deku and Bakugo but also between him and the other students. Deku has no control over his quirk, and even the usage of it leaves his body heavily damaged.

Meanwhile, Bakugo has had his quirk for almost a decade. That’s a ten-year difference of quirk development between him and Deku. Bakugo should be close to mastery in terms of utilizing his power. Not only that, but it’s safe to assume that it deals high amounts of damage and is quite powerful. There are other advantages to his quirk that I’ll discuss later on, but there’s no surprise as to how he came out on top in the entrance exam.

  1. Deku just inherited One for All and has no experience using it.
  2. The physical strength of Deku and Bakugo without their quirks is almost equal.
  3. Bakugo has a ten-year difference of quirk mastery than Deku.

The indisputable winner here is: Katsuki Bakugo

Deku vs Bakugo (First Fight)

Deku vs Bakugo. Who is stronger? During the simulation match Deku wins the battle but loses the war.

Following the entrance exam, this is the first real encounter between Deku and Bakugo. A simulation where a pair of villains have to fend off two heroes while preventing them from capturing their nuclear weapon. Uraraka and Deku against Bakugo and Iida.

Deku still has no control over his quirk but manages to stand his ground against Bakugo. How is he able to do this? Deku tends to write about the powers and abilities of heroes that fascinate him. They might not see eye to eye, but Deku admires Bakugo’s strength. It helped him predict Bakugo’s movement and avoid getting direct hits from Bakugo’s explosion.

If you remove both their quirks, Deku would be on par with Bakugo or slightly have the edge over him. All Might did train him personally for ten months, and in that period he managed to catch up to Bakugo’s physical abilities. In the end, Deku’s team won, but they were left more injured than the losers. Tokoyami explained that “They lost the battle but won the war”.

In terms of power, this statement is false.

Deku won the battle against Bakugo but lost the overall war.

  1. Deku only used his quirk once to ensure victory, but it displayed his lack of mastery while Bakugo utilized his in multiple and more advanced ways.
  2. Both of them did not use their maximum power, but if they did:
    1. Deku would be at a disadvantage because he has limited attacks, and it would eventually leave him incapacitated.
      1. Deku could end up killing Bakugo in one shot.
    2. Bakugo would hold out in the long run as the usage of his quirk doesn’t come with any side effects.
  3. Bakugo underestimated Deku.

The loser but the stronger one here is: Bakugo

UA Sports Festival

Deku vs Bakugo. Who is stronger during the UA sports festival

It would’ve been easier to compare who was stronger between them if they faced each other during the preliminary rounds. Since they didn’t fight each other, I’ll be using a common denominator between them to make this comparison: their fight with Todoroki. The anime tried to make it seem like they were comparable in strength, but there was only one clear winner if we look at it objectively.

Deku vs Todoroki

Without a plan, Deku has no answer to Todoroki’s attacks and acts very recklessly during the fight. Usually, he’s the type to plan a strategy before a battle to avoid thinking on the spot. In a way, he’s more of a strategist than a tactician. Anyway, I believe this is not because he’s not adept at thinking on his feet, but more to do with the fact that there are a lot of variables at play.

Unlike his first fight with Bakugo, Deku doesn’t have much data on Todoroki. He can’t predict what his opponent would do; this made him attack Todoroki head-on to force him on the defence. The only problem with this plan is that Deku has a limited number of attacks. To maximise the usage of his quirk in the fight, Deku resorts to finger flick attacks. This still leaves him badly injured

These attacks leave him heavily injured. The judges also mentioned that if he were to win, Deku wouldn’t be able to fight in the next round. The only worthy thing to note from this fight is that Deku forces Todoroki to use his left side. Todoroki has a limit to how much ice he can produce until his body gives in, but the usage of his left compensates this. Full power Todorki overwhelms Deku who is struggling to be in tune with his quirk.

  1. Deku still has little to no control over his quirk, which leaves him with limited attacks.
  2. Without the quirk, Deku would be physically stronger than Todoroki.
  3. Deku manages to force Todoroki to use his left side.
  4. Deku is no match to full power Todoroki.

Bakugo vs Todoroki

 Bakugo vs Todoroki. Todoroki doesn't use his left side and Bakugo wins. Bakugo is stronger in this sports festival arc

It’s hard to judge who is stronger between Bakugo and Todoroki because Todoroki didn’t use his left in this fight. I consider both of them during the sports festival to be close to equals. Todoroki choosing to use his left against Deku and not with Bakugo is the only thing that’s preventing Bakugo from being declared as stronger than Deku during this time. We can fix that if we view things objectively.

  1. Bakugo can fight on par with Todoroki because of his quirk control.
  2. Bakugo can use his quirk at full power without worrying of injuries as we see when he uses Howitzer Impact.
  3. To highlight his quirk control, Bakugo can manoeuvre in mid-air and change the course of his direction.
  4. The only negative is that Todoroki doesn’t use his full power, so we don’t know who is stronger between them.

The disputable winner here is: Katsuki Bakugo

Deku vs Bakugo (Second Fight)

Deku vs Bakugo. Second fight. Bakugo wins but barely. Bakugo is stronger

Now things get a little bit more interesting. Before, there was not much to compare between the two. If you minus of both their quirks they both have similar physical strength but before Bakugo would win because he had more control over his power. Now, the tables have turned slightly.

Deku has developed a skill called full cowl, where he spreads the power of his quirk throughout his whole body. During the fight, he manages to increase his power usage to 8% as he realizes that he has gotten stronger. In a short time, Deku has closed the gap of quirk control between him and Bakugo that seemed too huge a difference at first.

Before Deku would rely on planning, but now he can think on his feet because he only has to worry about the opponent in front of him. He’s still not used to it, but while the fight went on, he notices that he is much better at it. He also developed a new skill called shoot style to reduce the strain that his quirk has put on his arms. Although not perfect, shoot style is much stronger than his usual punches as the legs have more muscles in them to produce more powerful smashes.

In the end, Bakugo still won the fight and is arguably slightly stronger than Deku by the end of season 3. Things might have been different if Deku had mastered shoot style and was more in tune with 8% usage of One for All. Shoot style is also much slower compared to regular smashes. Even with these disadvantages, Deku was almost equal to Bakugo.

  1. Bakugo won, but this time it was more of a contest.
  2. Deku has improved at a fast pace and has decent control of his quirk at a low power usage.
  3. Deku isn’t used to 8% and shoot style during the fight.

Bakugo wins this time, but he isn’t improving at the same speed as Deku.

End of season 4 of the anime

Deku vs Bakugo. Deku is stronger by the end of season 4

We don’t see much of Deku vs Bakugo in season 4, but we can make a hypothesis on who is stronger between them based on observation of current and past events. In season 4, although briefly, Deku has managed to increase his power usage of One for All to 20%. He also has gotten accustomed to using Shoot Style.

In the fight against Gentle Criminal, Deku utilizes a new skill he developed through training with All Might while using the Air Force gloves. Now that he doesn’t have to worry about injuring his body, Deku can finally think on his feet and focus solely on the opponent’s attacks. Previously his quirk was holding him back, but that’s not the case anymore. We also see him adapting to Gentle’s attacks at real-time.

Meanwhile, in season 4, there was not much emphasis on Bakugo’s character. He failed to pass the provisional license exam and is unable to participate during the internship arc. The most we see of him is him going to extra classes to resit the license examination with Todoroki. He has no big battles, but those additional classes will push him to improve. In that period, he might have improved slightly, but Deku has closed the gap between them. Bakugo is now trailing behind Deku in terms of power and experience.

  • Deku obtains his provisional license and gets more experience in fighting villains.
  • Deku has mastered Shoot Style and can increase his power usage of One for All to 20% but for a short time.
  • Bakugo gets less screen time and is attending additional provisional license classes conducted by pro heroes.
  • Deku defeated two villains(Gentle and Overhaul) and has developed a new long-range attack.

Conclusion to Deku vs Bakugo

It’s been a race between two rivals to become better than the other in their quest to become the greatest hero. This competitive behaviour is good as it helps us avoid staying complacent and comfortable with who we are today. As it stands in the anime, Deku is stronger than Bakugo, but it’s not a huge difference of power.

“My Deku won’t always mean useless, Kacchan. my Deku means… You can do it!”