Trafalgar Law has a very unique fighting style that raises some eyebrows. Like, why is he using a sword? Is it just to be cool or is this a deliberate choice by Oda that is connected to his real strength?
What is off about Law’s fighting style?
The rules are somewhat straightforward when it comes to the basic usage of Armament Haki. If you use black clad Armament Haki you negate devil fruit abilities. This phenomenon occurs if you clad yourself with black haki (you lose the properties of your devil fruit if you are a paramecia/logia) and if you come into contact with someone else, that person solidifies the same way.
Luffy gets hit by Armament Haki and solidified on the attacked area which made him take damage.
It is also true that when you use black clad Armament Haki you get very hard, so hard that normal blades just shatter on you. Only through the usage of Armament Haki yourself one can overcome the defense of other Armament Haki users. (The only exception to this is flame black clad Armament Haki which enable you to remain with the properties of your devil fruit in the body part you are using it on.
We have done enough setup, let’s begin to talk about Law and what in particular is off about his fighting style.
He cut Vergo, who is clad in black Armament Haki while he isn’t using any visible form of haki. This is according to the rules of One Piece an impossibility. Doflamingo tells us so himself.
He tells us that his haki can protect him from cutting powers like Law’s which is true. Only if Law used black clad haki himself he could have overpowered Vergo with it but he didn’t. He not only overcame him with no visible haki, he also was able to apply his devil fruit ability on Vergo somehow. Vergo wasn’t regularly cut but was just split apart through the effects of the Ope Ope no Mi. Oda set this mystery up himself by stating that Vergo surpasses Law in strength, standing and is protected by his haki. It was never explained how Law did it and it was left open to be resolved. This is one of the few mysteries in One Piece which is phrased for us and that we don’t have to conjure ourselves. We see that this mystery isn’t forgotten by Oda and he keeps reusing it.
His blade cuts through haki even when he is not actively using his devil fruit. That means his trick isn’t connected to his devil fruit but something about how he cuts with his sword. Therefore certain things have to be true in how Law’s ability works.
1. Law has been using haki. Only haki can penetrate another ones haki.
2. Law has been using a technique by which he can use haki while at the same time his devil fruit ability.
3. Law’s haki is invisible, it isn’t ordinary black clad haki(which it couldn’t be, otherwise he couldn’t have used his devil fruit ability).
What is Law’s trick?
It is indeed the breath that the swordsman use. Oda gave Law intentionally a sword with which he was able to use this ability to be able to use his devil fruit on strong enemies. Otherwise Law could only use “Shambles” in combat against them and that is it. His devil fruit would be super nerfed against haki users and he had to find a way to make Law keep up and not mess with the rules of haki in the process.
Law has an affinity for “Goken” and not black clad Armament Haki unlike Luffy. A swordsman of course would be prone in learning such a technique in the way of the sword. Through the usage of “Goken” Law can cut anything(we don’t know how far he is within it but he was able to cut everything he comes in contact with yet) and apply his devil fruit ability on the enemy after they are cut. This is how his devil fruit has been working from the beginning. Once he cuts you, he can apply his devil fruit ability on you. This is a fighting style that is completely original to Law and it makes perfect sense. Law learning black clad haki isn’t valuable to him. There is a very good chance that Law can’t use his devil fruit ability when he uses black clad Armament Haki. At least he can’t use abilities like “Shambles” to teleport himself because that body part is negated from devil fruit abilities. Law had to find a way to make use of haki and one of the most diverse devil fruit abilities in the series. That is why Oda gave him a sword to solve this problem.
This scene might be another usage of “Goken”.
Law is one of the few people who already can penetrate Kaido and this might be his master plan to take him down. He knows how durable Kaido is because he was in Punk Hazard and found out about the experiments on the same. The World Government knows that he is a dragon and how impenetrable he is but Law thinks they can beat him somehow. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in Wano with a plan to take down Kaido. Funnily enough, Punk Hazard is the same arc were Law’s plan was introduced and in the same in which this ability was shown. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Luffy is currently training to obtain the same ability and we know how essential it is to beating Kaido. “Goken” can penetrate Kaido because it allows you to penetrate any defense(it cuts anything after all) and Luffy feels this to be true.
*Theory by Donal D. Trump