Without His Trident, Is Aquaman Mid-Tier Or Higher?
Clearly high tier with the Trident.
Bottom of the high tier without it. He is still much, much faster and more mobile than normal bricks, has planet level telepathy and enhanced senses. Also more skill and strategic sense than most high tier characters like Hulk, Power Girl, etc
Remember he beat Hercules WITHOUT the trident and both times he fought WW were without it also. Also MM underwater.
Definitely high tier even without the trident. He's got the strength, speed, degree of invulnerability, durability, endurance, tactical ability, h2h ability, and super senses to outclass most other heroes just based on those abilities alone. The telepathy is one of his most recognized features but it's an add-on with a lot of other abilities. Beyond that, he's also filthy rich like Batman and has access to Atlantean advanced technology and magical artifacts, and he has his own private super-powered army (well, at least depending on whether his rulership is applied or not; that changes pretty often).
Aquaman has squared off against some hefty opponents without the trident. His biggest issue is that Superman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam have most of his abilities as well, and in Superman's case it superior in each aspect so telepathy is still the area in which he typically distinguishes himself but he's demonstrated the other traits more in n52, which is nice, and the strength appears to be far greater than pre-n52 levels.
With the trident he also has another distinguishing feature in it's breaking the unbreakable and cutting the indestructible plus it's used for blocking and increased defense given his lower invulnerability. That is a big boost in itself in offense and defense, but now with the addition traits he's opened up lately like teleportation, ice, and lightning attacks he's clearly a very potent character.
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