Silver here, well this has been a long time coming and even a few commenters have brought it up, but I decided to wait till I had a good understanding of both characters before I threw my two cents in. Now I want to be as unbiased as I possibly can with this fight analyzes so here are the ground rules that are in place:
- The leveling and magic/skill systems of the fictional games that act as a the power base for both characters are impossible to fully examine and compare due to lack of information. As a compromise, the twos’ abilities will be judged based on an assumed universal fantasy realm settling and both will suffer a 15% decrease in effectiveness of spells and skills due to differences.
- The allies and followers that both combatants have shall not take part in this battle in any way whatsoever. This shall be a true one-on-one confrontation.
- As both combatants could benefit from certain environmental settings, the field of battle will be an unpopulated, medium-sized forest.
- This confrontation will be a random encounter. No prep-time will be given to either combatant, as such, both of them will only carry their standard gear and items.
- This shall be an analysis of 6 attributes that will affect the final outcome: The racial characteristics/body features, the physical capabilities, magic (which has been split into 4 subcategories), equipment & items, trumps card abilities, and personalities
- Since I consider this to be the best way to express the final verdict of this fight, the results will be presented as a score out of 100 simulated battles, followed by a detailed breakdown.
Racial Characteristics/Body Features: The most fact based category.
Ainz: While playing YGGDRASIL Ainz choose to play as a Skeleton Mage and eventually evolved into a magic centric Overlord. Thanks to becoming an actual undead, Ainz is a cold and calculating man whose emotions are suppressed if they exceed a certain threshold. As an undead, Ainz is blessed with immortality. Immunity to low level spells & physical attacks, ice, acid, and electric attacks. Resistance to slashing and piercing attacks. Extreme weakness fire, light and holy attacks. Nightvision. Requires no food or sleep, and is immune to critical damage. Damaged by regular healing items. As a result of his race/class Ainz has access to an aura of despair that has a chance of inducing fear, panic, confusion, insanity or instant death. Deals negative-type damage to the object being touched, attacked or skill-attacked by Ainz.
Arc: While initially playing the unnamed game Arc played as dark elf, somewhere along the way he applied a skeletal skin to his avatar. This skin would manifest a number of effects when he was transferred into his new world. To start off, the majority of Arc’s body and emotional processing capability has been left in stasis in the game world, only temporarily accessible to him through the use of curse removing spells and a certain spring’s water. Thanks to his warrior-centric character build Arc has been gifted with superhuman physical abilities. Arc is unaffected by extreme temperature shifts such as extreme heat and cold. His build has high fire and light resistance. While Arc is capable of eating and sleeping, it is done mostly out of habit as Arc doesn’t get hungry or fatigued as a skeleton. Since his true body is trapped in another plane of existence Arc’s skeletal body does not age and further increases slash and piercing resistances. While Arc’s body lacks many of the downsides of an undead or living being, the emotional backlash (he will experience all the emotions that were “dulled” by his skeletal form at once, in full clarity) when reverting to his original dark elf body could kill him.
What I see here is a “no edge”-situation: While each combatant’s body does play a role in the fight, it is impossible to say which one is better than the other based on their own merit. If Arc’s dark elf form was his standard state of being, then the edge would go to Ainz, but that isn’t the case. The limitations and benefits only show major influence when combined with other factors outside of this category.
Physical Capabilities: Encompassing fighting experience, reflexives and strength.
Ainz: In terms of physical abilities, Ainz comfortably sits in the superhuman category. Some of his greatest feats include shattering the bones of low level undead with ease, kicking up large dust clouds when frustrated, equaling a party of adequately skilled mercenaries without the use of magic in combat, and withstanding blows from a troll without taking damage. Around the start of Overlord’s second volume, Ainz began taking combat lessons in between running Nazarick and his adventuring work, though that seems to have been throw to the wayside in favor of running his newly formed Kingdom. Beyond that bit of training, Ainz has to rely on the ranged combat style he developed over years of playing a full-dive VRMMO as a magic caster. Should he desire it, Ainz can use a spell that turns all his caster attributes into warrior attributes, giving him the stats of a max level warrior with none of the skills, and at the cost of his other spells.
Arc: While Ainz has a comfortably superhuman physicality, Arc may stand above even that. Some of his greatest feats included holding down various monsters with ease, breaking down a security gate with a shoulder ram, ripping metal doors out of walls, blowing away crowds of people with a single attack, shattering steel with his bare hands, punching a hole into a ship, outclassing ogres in a contest of strength, and repelled a tail whip from a dragon king with only his arm going numb afterwards. When he uses his skills, the range and destructive force of his actions increase exponentially, allowing him to cut down flying enemies and trees from a distance and easily destroy fortified structures. Arc appears to have no formal training in fighting, but overwhelms almost all of his opponents using just his physical abilities. So far, the only person able outclass Arc was a centuries old, female elven warrior during a mock fight. However, it should be noted that Arc refrained from using skills since the purpose of the fight was to test his swordsmanship.
The edge here has to go to Arc. His physical abilities and willingness to use them puts him above Ainz by a large margin. While Ainz has a couple of months of training under his belt, it’s nowhere near enough for him to bridge the gap between him and Arc in this category, lest you forget that he also relied on his superhuman strength to get by as an adventurer. It’s also unlikely that Ainz would use “Perfect Warrior” since doing so would only put him at a disadvantage in other areas.
Magic: This Category has been split into battle oriented, summoning, utility and capability
- Battle Oriented
It has been mentioned that Ainz has learned over 700 different spells, but most of them are related to death magic and instant-kills. Based off the light novels, in particular the opening stages of his fight with Shalltear Bloodfallen and the annihilation of Sunlight Scripture, he is capable of casting high-level defensive spell and buffs, creating oneshot black holes, cutting through space, stopping time, a variety of instant death spells and a few mid-tier energy and elemental based attacks.
Arc falls short in this category because he actively avoids using his high-tier magic since most of them are AOE spells, even though he has maxed out the Mage and Priest class trees in order to obtain the Heavenly Knight class. Instead he has shown creative uses for low level magic such as rock bullets and flamethrowers. Can level buildings with earth spikes, fry flying enemies with lightning and blow enemies away using gusts of wind with intermediate magic.
Ainz is capable of instantly summoning 20 low-level, 12 mid-level, and 4 high-level undead a day without a corpse and with little mana cost. Should he have corpses on hand, those numbers can be greatly increased, depending on their quality. Ainz is also capable of creating a fortress out of thin air and other elemental summons, but their cast time increases with how far they are away from the Ainz on the karma scale.
Arc is capable of summoning a variety of different creatures with a five minute time limit. Despite the time limit, Arc’s summons have the benefit of their strength scaling with his mana pool without the altering the amount of mana needed to summon them.
While it seems that Ainz should win here, I have to give it to Arc because there doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of times he can summon his creatures beside the cooldown time.
Including the above mentioned buffs and debuffs, Ainz is capable of temporary invisibility, surveillance prevention, altering memories, item creation, delaying teleportation within a small area around himself, teleportation, flight, long-range teleportation, enemy detection, increased vision range, and limited reality manipulation.
Arc falls short here. He is capable of short range teleportation with a defined 500 meter range and long range teleportation. He’s been stated as maxing out the priest class but has only shown curse removing spells, varying levels of healing magic and resurrections. Although he has spells effective against undead (even one that instantly kills them) he has yet to use them.
Ainz has been stated has having a larger than normal mana pool, but his higher tier spells drain it away when used in quick succession. With only his standard gear, Ainz is dependant on magic to a fault. In fact, one of the viable strategies for defeating Ainz is to tank his magical assault until he depletes his mana.
Arc’s greatest asset is that even his highest level spells are only a drop in the bucket that is his mana pool. It took 30+ casting of a total resurrection spell before he even noticed any loss. The second largest advantage he has is the scale of escalation between tiers.
Ainz has the slight edge in this category. The sheer number of number of spells and their myriad of uses simply outclass what Arc has to offer. However, the gap isn’t as insurepassible as some might think it. The lower mana cost for spells and power scaling of his summons gives Arc a fighting chance.
Equipment & Items: The easiest part to write.
Ainz’s standard gear and their known or assumed effects are as follows:
- Ring of Ainz Ooal Gown: It allows the user to freely teleport between every room inside Nazarick.
- Shooting Star: Allows user to activate over-class magic, “Wish Upon a Star” three times without consuming experience.
- Ring that allows user to revive with little loss of exp.
- Ring that protects user from detection by all kinds of divination-type magic.
- Ring that protects user from behavior disturbance.
- Other Rings are assumed to increase stats or have other one shot effects.
- Boots: stat increase.
- Circlet: stat increase.
- Cloak: It has a Chaotic Aura Effect, causing a rippling dark red aura to rise from the feet, an aura that felt turbulent and sinister.
- Gauntlet: small stat increase.
- Necklace: stat increase.
- Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown (replica, Ainz rarely takes the real one out of Nazarick): The staff has seven snakes engraved in it with gems of Divine class artifact. Each with a unique ability and the power to summon monsters level 85 and above once a day.
Ainz is also capable of drawing a number of consumables from his item box, such as mana & health potions and items that can reduce cast times on higher level spells.
Arc’s Standard gear and their known or assumed effects are as follows:
- 『Holy Armor of Belenus』: A five piece set of armor that enhances defense and periodically restore a fixed amount of health, increases attack power, as well as increasing curse resistance. In addition, fire and light attribute damage is reduced by half.
- 『Holy Shield of Teutates』: High defense and knockdown invalidation, it raised all abnormal status effect resistance values.
- 『Overcoat of the Night Sky』: Reduces darkness attribute damage and restores a set amount of mana over time.
- 『Holy Thunder Sword』: increase in attack power and agility boost. Skill: 【Sacred Lightning Sword】( 10% increase in offensive power, inflicts low-level paralysis on targets, and increases the sword’s range.)
Just as with his sword, each piece of Arc’s gear is said to have a unique skill of its own. Arc also lacks an item box and doesn’t carry jewelry as the devs in his game had to nerf the armor in some way for balancing
The slight edge goes to Arc. While Ainz is carrying more equipment, the majority of their uses are unknown which makes it hard to state what kind of effect the would have on the battle’s outcome. Though his item box and consumables even the playing field a bit, the fact that he has to stop what he’s doing to use them is a limitation in a fight like this. While there could be some potential game changing abilities in Ainz’s gear, the clear benefits Arc’s gear provides can’t be overcome by potential alone.
Trump Cards: Both combatants have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Ainz’s known Over Rank Magic:
- Creation: Changes field effect.
- Fallen Down: Calls down a huge pillar of blue light from the sky that will burn so bright and hot that it will appear like the whole world has turned white. After a few seconds, it will leave behind an area burned to cinder, devoid of life. This spell deals massive damage, especially to undead-type enemy.
- Iä Shub-Niggurath: Summons a black cyclone and kills everything in the area. The victims are sacrificed to summon monsters over level 90, “Dark Young”. The number of summoned dark young is proportional to the total number of sacrifices.
- Wish Upon A Star: Consumes the caster’s experience points to grant a wish. Ainz used this spell by using a special item, but he said that he has also learned the spell.
- Pantheon: Summons 6 level 80, “Cherubim’s Gatekeepers” through the use of an Over Rank, holy-type magic under his command.
Over Rank Magic can not be activated consecutively, only 4 in a single day, it has an activation period and certain amount of damage done to the magic caster will interrupt the casting. Ainz possess consumables that reduce the activation period.
Arc: The Four Heavenly Knight Skills
- 【The Executor】
- 【The Judge】
- 【The Guardian】
- 【The Prophet】
The Judge is said to give Arc the ability to fly, but not much else is known about the effects of the these four skills. What is know is that Arc is capable of using three of these skills consecutively before his mana is completely depleted and that they all have 12 hour cooldowns.
To no one’s surprise the edge goes to Ainz here. While it’s possible to speculate what Arc’s skills can do, speculation can only do so much in the face of facts
Personalities: The category that’s the most subjective to my jaded mind.
Ainz: He has a deep seated “paranoia” that stems from his early time playing Yggdrasil. It was stated that players playing as Monster races were hunted down for fun, resulting in an environment where he constantly had to fear being killed by others. On earth, his apparent lack of a family left him with little social interaction outside of work and the game. His loyalty lies with his friends, the NPCs created by them and not much else. Ainz even shows slight psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies as he cares nothing about the outside world, except in that they might be useful in locating his friend, only showing empathy when he thinks that his friends would disapprove of his actions otherwise. While he has his own sense of justice, it does not necessarily apply to himself as he treated an enemy to a slow and painful death because of their actions, actions that he admitted he would have done, and has allowed to be carried out by his followers. In battle, Ainz has a tendency for overkill due to the (sometimes unexpected) difference in power between himself and his opponents. Although the Ainz personal was created to protect himself, at this point it seem to have become the dominant one.
Arc: After awakening in the other world as his game avatar, Arc has shown a rather laid back attitude about most things in life. His fear that his skeletal form will lead to him being prosecuted means that Arc avoids extended interactions with those unaware of his secret. Despite his altered perception of reality, Arc acts in a respectful manner to innocent civilians and those in positions of authority over himself. He has very little connection with humans and other races in the world, as a result, he’s willing take any job so long as it catches his interest and doesn’t go against his personal sense of justice. i.e. saving the wrongfully enslaved or preventing a dangerous monster from destroying the city when he has the means to stop it. When threatened or on the clock, Arc shows no hesitation in killing humans and other creatures alike. In battle Arc tends to think on his feet, assessing the situation before taking the most suitable action. Though Arc does things for equally selfish and selfless reasons he tries to maintain an image of himself that could be seen as positive and trustworthy in the eyes of his allies.
Both characters also suffer from a form of emotional damping. Ainz is capable of feeling emotions, but the “Immunity against status-debuffs” that undead players get as a racial bonus blocks them when they exceed a certain point. While capable of joy, sadness, rage, etc., Ainz can only feel a brief flash of them before he’s reset to a emotionless baseline. Arc is different because his dampener can be disabled. Unlike Ainz, Arc does still “feel” every emotion he has. It’s just that in his case, the curse forcefully bottles the emotion up and when Arc “breaks” the curse, all the bottled-up emotions are released and Arc is forced to work through them all at once, effectively frying his brain if the amount of emotions becomes too much to handle. So long as the “curse” is in effect Arc operates with extremely muted emotions, a mere shadow of with they actually are.
I can’t really give other of them an edge for personality. While Ainz’ character alignment is stated to be extreme/chaotic evil, his action and mannerisms make him out to be lawfully evil. For better or worse, he has a code and method to his madness which he bases all his actions on. Arc, on the other hand, is a truly neutral soul. He is capable of doing the wrong things for the right reason and vice versa. When it comes down to it both have glaring weakness in how they operate, but against each other their strengths more than make up for them.
Final Verdict: Out of 100 confrontation these is how I see it all playing out. PLEASE READ THE WHOLE THING BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO KILL OR DISCRETE ME
5/100 confrontations will end with the two not fighting each other. Some may hate me for this, but when you take everything these characters have to offer into account it’s possible that Ainz and Arc will decide not to fight. While the both of them are more than willing to kill, they are not mindless husks that see killing as their only option. It’s not hard to see reason winning out in a situation where the risk is high for both parties.
10/100 of the confrontations end in mutually assured destruction or the fight ending in a draw. At the end of the day, both Ainz and Arc are beings capable of unparalleled destruction. Though there is a difference in how the two choose to use their power, and for whom they use their power for, both possess world-ending strength. Under the right circumstances, a fight between these two can devolve into a “unstoppable force meets immovable object”-conundrum, and given their methodologies and fighting styles, those circumstances can be achieved rather easily.
20/100 of the confrontations end with one or both parties escaping during the battle. While Ainz does theorise that it could be possible for him to revive, with a possibly permanent (and crippling) loss of power, he would still try to avoid this outcome whenever possible. Arc on the other hand has to assume that his death in this battle would be final, making him more likely to use his long-distance teleportation to ensure his survival once it becomes apparent that Ainz is a force to be reckoned with. Ainz was (and still is) a very cautious player who tries to account for every variable before confronting an enemy, and even then he will do his utmost to prevent his opponent from having a chance at victory. Faced with an opponent like Arc, throwing the battle and escaping would be a sensible decision for Ainz to make. Something else to keep in mind is that Arc primarily fights out of principle, or because he expects to gain something from winning a fight. As such, there is little reason for Arc to risk his life trying to win this battle, unless he believes Ainz to be a danger to his friends.
32/100 and 33/100 battles go to Ainz and Arc respectively. Now before you write your comments explaining how wrong I am let me explain. There are a few reasons I gave Arc the last win and why the result were so equal to begin with.
- First and foremost, the way Arc’s skeletal skin works negates the majority of Ainz’s death magic. Had the effect been purely cosmetic, Ainz would have gotten 60 wins hands down. However, as stated in the fourth volume of Skeleton Knight, the rest of Arc’s being is in another plane of reality entirely. Arc is just a conscience piloting a skeleton, meaning there is nothing on his skeletal body that can be killed by death magic. The only thing that might work would be The Goal of All Life is Death/Cry of the Banshee combo he used against Shalltear, but Arc falling victim to that spell is unlikely thanks to the second reason
- Arc’s teleportation outclasses Ainz’s and his defenses against it. Delay Teleportation is a spell that can briefly hinder teleportation effects targeting an area close to the caster, buying them several seconds of time during which the caster would flee or counter-attack. It is an impressive spell that would allow Ainz to retreat or land a few hits on Arc, but based on the light novels and anime it’s a spell that would need to be recast after the spell’s effects activate and does nothing if the opponent is trying to teleport away from the caster. In the middle of battle Ainz can’t afford to waste mana or time like that because of Arc’s Dimensional Step. With a max range of 500m and mana cost so small he doesn’t even notice it, Dimensional Step is gonna be a major part of Arc offense. Delay Teleport might work a few times in the beginning, but as the battle drags on it would become a non-issue. Given the 12 sec delay of the above mentioned combo, the fact that Arc can cast Dimensional Step instantaneously, and the spells range, it’s extremely unlikely that Arc could fall victim to it.
- Chances are high that the fight would turn into a battle of endurance, which is the last thing that Ainz would want. Arc’s HP and Mana are constantly replenished by his equipment, while Ainz is mostly reliant on his consumables. To be frank, only one of them has to stop and reach into an item box for recovery.
- There is a limit to what spells Ainz can cast when he freezes time, and they mostly seem to be death spells and debuffs.
- Finally, Arc is a magical tank in similar fashion to Shalltear Bloodfallen, i.e. the worst build Ainz could fight against. It was only through prior knowledge, prep time and access to the other guild member’s weapons that Ainz was able to best her, all thing that he won’t have access to here. (Those weapons in particular are normally left in Nazarick).
This has been my take on Arc vs Ainz, let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d really like to hear what you guys think.