Comicvine's Deadliest Warrior: Wolverine vs Deathstroke

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Alright so I am still doing these. The next match up I am choosing to do is Deathstroke vs Wolverine! The last one I did was Captain America vs Batman. If your curious what these are or where I got the idea check out the last one.

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The Conditions

Rules

  • This is 616 Wolverine. This is Post Crisis Deathstroke despite what the image above shows.
  • Both are operating in character
  • Both have standard equipment
  • There is no prep time
  • Victory can be achieved through any means

Setting

  • They begin 50 ft apart
  • They begin visible
  • Fight takes place in a city at night. Neither combatant has knowledge on the location.

Physicals

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on strength because I don't think strength is going to be relevant here. Both wolverine and Deathstroke rely on weapons when they fight so I don't really think strength will be to relevant. The only scenario I see it maybe being relevant is if Wolverine is pressing his claws against Slade, and Slade has to physically hold wolverine back. But if Deathstroke has gotten into that sort of position he probably isn't going to win, but we'll get into that later in the blog. I don't think there is a difference when it comes to Wolverine and Post Crisis Deathstroke's strength anyhow.

When it comes to the subject of speed both Wolverine and Deathstroke are incredibly quick. Starting this part off by talking about wolverine, not only is wolverine capable of attacking insanely fast, but he can also dodge bullets contrary to what some believe. Wolverine has moved faster than the human eye can track on many occasions. The marvel handbook also does consider wolverine to have enhanced human reflexes as well.

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Deathstroke is in the same tier of speed. He has been stated to be faster than batman who has done similar to the above. Not to mention Slade himself has also been able to throw swords at faster than the eye speed. And while speedster tagging feats aren't really measurable I do think its worth noting Deathstroke has reacted to speedsters on several occasions. Similar to how wolverines speed is rated as an enhanced human on paper, so is Deathstroke's.

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However there is one key difference between Deathstroke and Wolverine on paper. That difference is Deathstroke's enhanced brain capacity. As you can read in Slade's bio above Deathstroke has been given enhanced brain capacity. This idea was based around the theory that humans only use 10% of there brain cells, so Deathstroke would use 90%. This idea to my understanding has since been debunked but this is the logic that was used at the time of Deathstroke's creation so this is the logic we will apply here. As a result of Deathstroke being given his enhanced brain capacity, this makes it so thought and action are one with Slade:

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For Deathstroke his reflexes are instantaneous with his thoughts. This leads me to believe that Deathstroke should have a reactionary advantage over Wolverine. Another point I do feel is that even though wolverine can be very acrobatic I do feel like Deathstroke also has the advantage in that category as well. Another power of Deathstroke's enhancements is the ability to control every muscle within his body. This ability is so precise he can trick a machine into thinking he is dead. He has used this ability to survive being flung extremely far by Terra for example:

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The above isn't Deathstroke's best agility feat but I think it explains what I am talking about the best.Deathstroke has more precise control over his muscles than Wolverine which should make him more flexible. Basically I feel like there are a few subtle differences between how Slade's enhancements work versus Wolverine's. And I think Slade's enhancements give him the advantage.

As I said I don't think strength matters, and I do feel like Slade and Wolverine are close enough on paper and in terms of feats where neither really has an advantage. Deathstroke probably wont win this fight by being slightly stronger, and Wolverine doesn't need to over power Slade when he is running at him with adamantium claws. He just needs to be strong enough where he wont be over power easily and I think that's managable for Wolverine. Durability isn't something I am going to talk about in this section because Wolverine has a healing factor and adamantium bones and I plan to discuss that later under "X-factor's". I think those are more special qualities than wolverine's inherent physicals. I think its more interesting and relevant to compare those traits to Deathstroke's weapons than count them as a physical stat even though I can see how some would count admanatium bones and Logan's healing factor towards his physical durability.

However when it comes to speed and agility I do think Deathstroke has a slight advantage over Wolverine.

Fighting Ability

I am choosing to count this category as fighting ability rather than skill, because I am going to throw tactical ability in this category as well. My thought process here is some characters I use in the future may not be great martial artists but could be great fighters due to how smart they are. I also feel like the point of being talented in martial arts is know how to use them correctly to give you an advantage. So that's how I intend to look at this category.

In terms of fighting skills Deathstroke has faced some of the most talented martial artists in the DC universe and often times came out on top. Deathstroke has fought and defeated the likes of Batman, Nightwing, and Black Canary. In the case of Nightwing it is true they have gone back and fourth a bit however the way I personally rationalize most of Nightwing's better showings against Deathstroke is him using his agility. In Nightwing #82 Nightwing admitted he normally does everything he can to keep his distance from Slade, stating that fighting Deathstroke is "all about distance and evasion". And I think this is a theme that is consistent in most of Nightwing and Deathstroke's battles. And also during Nightwing #18 which is another one of Nightwing's stronger showings against Slade, Nightwing admitted Slade could kill him "without breaking a sweat". Some people will bring up how when Deathstroke fought Batman, he admitted he wouldn't want to fight Batman if not for his enhanced physicals, which does suggest Batman is the better martial artist.

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Deathstroke has also faced Cassandra Cain as well and they have a fairly controversial history. They have gone back and fourth (sometimes with Cass seemingly having the upper hand, and sometimes Slade toys with her), and it is fair to say that Cass is a better fighter, however she has admitted that Deathstroke is faster, stronger and smarter. What this shows is just because Cass might be a better martial artist than Deathstroke doesn't mean she is better overall when Slade is capable of getting inside of her head. However its not just Cass that Slade's intellect helps him against but even going hand to hand with entire teams of Titans his intellect helps him a lot. Slade has said that The Titans going H2H with him is a mistake:

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When Slade fights entire teams of Titans he knows how to turn there numbers into a disadvantage. Now you might say that this skill isn't really helpful against Wolverine but I think Slade's skills as a team buster shows his awareness of his surroundings, and also obviously shows his tactical ability quite well. For example when Rose had her sword against his neck in the same fight, Deathstroke ducked and some batarangs hit Rose in the face. She didn't see them until it was to late because Deathstroke's body was obstructing her view.

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Also similarly to with Cass this also shows Deathstroke is mindful of what buttons to push to get an enemy riled up in combat. The way Deathstroke's mind works is that due to his enhanced brain capacity he is capable of thinking faster as well. According to Green Arrow by the time he reacts Slade already has the whole fight planned out and is a dozen of moves ahead:

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Before I start talking about Wolverine's intellect I will talk briefly about his martial arts ability. Wolverine is someone who has been alive for centuries, and he has trained under several different masters. He has been taught by some of the greatest martial artists throughout history, the weapon X programs, Shi'ar Combat Priests, etc.

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However it should be noted that Wolverine has gone through periods where he has not always retained his skills because he does not always practice regularly. This is a point that Wolverine's sensei Master Po brought up during Manifest Destiny. And I do think its important when discussing Wolverine's skills that we should look at Wolverine when he remembers his skills, and also Wolverine when he does rely on his healing factor. Some examples of this would be in Savage Wolverine #7 where Logan says he isn't much good in a fight, and also in X-Force #32 where he leaves himself open for a strike from Sabretooth in order to wake up his berserker mode.

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However in the case of both fights its worth noting that when Wolverine does wake his feral berserker he ends up kicking a lot of ass. For example in X-force #32 he ends up beating Sabretooth, Skinless Man, the new Omega Red, and Omega White by himself. And it should be noted that when Wolverine is at his peak he has wins over the likes of Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Shang-Chi all without relying on his healing factor. So while Wolverine does have his showings where he does forget how to fight its also important to keep in mind that Wolverine when he does remember how to fight actually has defeated some of the best fighters in the marvel universe.

And while Wolverine does have a tenancy to rely on his healing factor and we have see it be his down fall in the past, we also have seen wolverine take advantage of his ability to tank damage in the past. For example when he fought Gorgon Wolverine said that he wouldn't try to match Gorgon blow for blow but instead would just try to lock his blade between his adamantium rib cage.

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It didn't nessasarily work out but it is a clever strategy for dealing with an enemy who is faster and a better overall fighter. If Gorgon didn't have a healing factor of his own, Logan's claws might have messed him up. In general when it comes to Wolverine's intelligence he is smarter than most would give him credit. Even the marvel handbook has described his intelligence as "above normal". We have also seen Wolverine take advantage of the environment in the past like during his battle with Omega Red during Wolverine origins. Contrary to what most believe Wolverine does fall back on using the environment when he is outmatched.

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Overall when it comes to who is the better fighter its a tough call to make. However I am going to choose to give the advantage to Deathstroke overall. Wolverine at his peak is the better martial artist, however I do think its important to acknowledge Wolverine doesn't always perform at his peak due to his lack of discipline. And that is an advantage Deathstroke has on Wolverine. And even though Wolverine's intellect shouldn't be underestimated Deathstroke should hold the advantage in intellect due to his enhanced brain capacity. Due to his ability to think faster it is likely that whatever Wolverine thinks of, Deathstroke will think of it first.

X-Factor's

I've already talked a bit about Wolverine's X-factor's a little bit so I will start with him. As I've mentioned above he has an adamantium skeleton, which coats every bone in his body and also his claws. Adamantium cannot be destroyed by anything in Deathstroke's which means that Wolverine cannot be decapitated, have his limbs sliced off, or anything of the sort. He can also use his adamantium skeleton to jam melee weapons between his bones. Not only has he done this against Gorgon but also Silver Samurai:

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And with his healing factor it makes any damage Wolverine does receive something he can recover from. Even getting his face blown off doesn't stop Wolverine. Wolverine has ran through bullets, massive explosions, and taken punches from class 100's like the hulk, and has shown the ability to recover rather quickly. However I think it is also important to note that Wolverine isn't invincible. Logan is not invulnerable so he still takes damage. Strikes to his vital organs and major arteries can put him down. While Logan has sometimes shrugged off stabs to the heart or slashes across the throat he has also been dropped by those sorts of attacks in the past.

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Pressure points have been a tad inconsistent in there effectiveness on Wolverine, however I will say Wolverine does seem to have a degree of resistance. Deathstroke also hasn't shown a lot of pressure point based attacks so I don't think this matters. However Wolverine has more than just a formidable defense with his adamantium skeleton and healing factor, he also has a strong offense with his adamantium claws. His claws have cut through several power houses within the marvel universe including Hulk, Thing, Thanos, Gladiator, Red Hulk, etc.

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There aren't a lot of objects that can meet Wolverine's adamantium claws head on. When Logan's claws are slicing through top tier power houses it kind of suggests there isn't much that can stand up to his claws. So Wolverine has a strong offense and a strong defense with his claws, healing and adamantium skeleton. But in addition to this strong combo Wolverine also has enhanced senses which makes it hard to hard to hide from him.

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With his enhanced senses it is unlikely Wolverine will be taken off guard. Not only does Wolverine have all of these abilities but when he does experience a lot of pain he can enter a berserker state. In this state Wolverine doesn't experience pain and he gets a slight boost in strength and speed. It is worth noting that it has been stated that even within this state Wolverine is still capable of forming strategic decisions, and still retains his combat skills.

As for Deathstroke he also has some pretty similar powers. Like Wolverine he has a healing factor and also enhanced senses. However his healing factor is nowhere near Wolverine's level. However Slade is still capable of healing wounds in seconds. Also similarly to Wolverine when he takes a lot of damage he also can go into a feral state. However unlike Wolverine he recieves no benefits from entering that state and cannot fight as competently.

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When it comes to his enhanced senses he has detected tremors on the ground from Terra. He has also claimed his senses are increased 1000X.

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However Slade's biggest advantage in this fight would be his arsenal of weapons. He has swords, knives, and other weapons that are effective at close range, however he also carries guns, explosives, and his blast staff which can destroy solid rock.

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Deathstroke also does possess armor but its not really relevant in a fight with Wolverine.

Overall when it comes to who has the advantage here its a tough call. Wolverine is pretty tough however Slade does have a lot of range weapons he can use to get a measure on Wolverine's healing factor and with his enhanced senses he will definitely notice Wolverine's ability to regenerate. From the get-go Slade is going to to be doing a lot of damage. However the question is can Deathstroke drop Wolverine before Logan gets in close? Its possible, however Logan has soaked powerful energy attacks before such as cyclops optic blasts, and also the second silver samurai's giant energy blast. Deathstroke has also been known to carry flash bangs occasionally, however Wolverine can still fight relying on his enhanced sense of smell. So while a flash bang might impede Wolverine a bit, it wont stop him or leave him helpless. Its also possible Deathstroke might not expect Wolverine to be able to smell him.

Up close its basically a case of anything you can do I can do better. Deathstroke has promethium weapons? Adamantium is better. Deathstroke can heal wounds instantly? Wolverine can regenerate from a skeleton in the span of a short phone call. Plus Wolverine has his adamantium skeleton so the long reach of Slade's own sword could work against him as its easier to get it stuck between Wolverine's skeleton. Wolverine's claws will also cut through Slade's weapons and armor. Getting close will be the challenge.

When it comes to X-factor's Wolverine has the advantage.

The Verdict

In the above analysis Deathstroke has taken the advantage in 2/3 categories however that doesn't nessasarily mean he will win. Deathstroke has the advantage in physicals but that advantage is mostly based on how his powerset works. Its not a difference that I would say is very noticeable based on on showings. When it comes to fighting ability it is a lot tougher to call. Wolverine can be more skilled depending on what showings you want to use however Wolverine isn't the most disciplined fighter and that should be considered. Even when Wolverine is fighting at his peak it is possible Deathstroke could still outfight him based on his tactical ability.

However it still wont be easy for Deathstroke to outfight Wolverine, and because of Wolverine's healing factor and adamantium skeleton he can afford to make a mistake. We also need to consider how reliable Deathstroke's intellect is in a random encounter. What can Deathstroke do in a standard city enviornment that can stop Wolverine? The only tactic that came to midn right away is Deathstroke blasting some rubble down on top of Wolverine however the odds of him getting Wolverine in that position and keeping him in that position long enough for the rubble to fall on him doesn't seem like it will happen for a majority of the time. I also don't think Wolverine's own intellect should be underestimated. I've covered it above but Wolverine has several enemies who he can't nessasarily out tough. He also has shown to be abel to use his intellect when he needs to such as against Omega Red or Gorgon when outclassed. I think its fair to say that while Wolverine isn't as smart as Slade he still is mindful of his surroundings.

The big challenge for Wolverine in this fight will be trying to get up close to Deathstroke, and not take to much damage before things get into melee, or take enough damage where Slade can finish him off in melee. And while Deathstroke is a formidable marksman with enhanced senses, his blast staff has been evaded before by the likes of Batman, who I would say has similar agility as Wolverine.

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Wolverine has evaded attacks from the likes of Cyclops so I think its fair to say Wolverine can dodge Deathstroke at least some of the time. And whatever he can't dodge he can tank. The starting distance here is only 50ft. When it comes down to CQC Wolverine has a big advantage due to his ability to heal and his admanatium anatomy. I covered this above but Logan in CQC can trap Deathstroke's sword between his rib cage or other bones, he can slice through Deathstroke's sword in CQC, and Deathstroke's armor is useless. Deathstroke has no way of stopping adamantium claws which can cut the likes of the Hulk, unlike Wolverine who's bones will protect him from Slade's weapons.

It is possible Slade can work around this by targeting areas like the throat and avoiding bone, however that is easier said than done while Slade is also trying to avoid being sliced up by an enemy of similar speed. While Slade can heal some damage, he can't regenerate an entire limb, and in general can't regenerate at the rate Wolverine can. Once the fight makes it to close range, it is likely that Deathstroke will lose most of his weapons. Without any weapons for Deathstroke to rely on he can't win in H2H since punching Wolverine will do more damage to himself than it would Wolverine.

I think this is an extremely close fight. Slade has a lot of options at his disposal, but at the end of the day even if he has more advantages, Deathstroke's advantages are slight. His biggest advantage here is his range weapons however Wolverine has the means to get in close with his speed, agility, skill, and his damage soak.

The winner is Wolverine.

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