Powerscaling is the method of determining a character's power through comparing them to other characters in their series.
The logic behind powerscaling works much that of transitive relation. In which if A > B and B > C, then A > C.
So if Character A is stronger than Character B, and Character B is stronger than Character C, then logically, Character A is also stronger than Character C.
Another way powerscaling works is through attributing feats a character performs to other characters who are equal or greater than that character as well.
So if Character A is capable of lifting a car. And character B has proven to be stronger than character A, then it is safe to say that Character B can also lift a car.
Although a misuse or over extrapolation of powerscaling can lead to grossly inaccurate ratings, a logical and moderate use can be both helpful and essential to properly determining one's power.
As without powerscaling and going purely by feats, many characters would end up being "Unknown" in stats or be lowballed to absurd extents. Such as Whis being weaker than Frieza going by pure feats. Monster Garou being weaker than Genos. Or characters who have consistently been said and shown to have power on par with Planet level beings be rated as Wall level.
While as a whole the legitimacy of powerscaling within a franchise should be analyzed on a case by case basis, the following is a general guide to what would and would not be accepted to scale off of in most situations.
Examples of Viable Powerscaling
Character A performed a feat of destroying a City and has City level durability. Character B has overpowered, critically injured and is portrayed as physically superior to Character A. In this case, it is safe to assess that Character B has City level Attack Potency, despite not having feat of City busting themselves.
- Alternatively if Character A has a City level feat, Character B overpowered Character A and Character C overpowered Character B. Then it is safe to assess that Character C has City level AP as well.
Another important thing to note is that "Attack Potency," the energy a character can output and how powerful their attacks are is not always equal to to how much one can destroy or the area of effect one's attacks hold.
In a massive majority of fiction, characters' attacks do not have to destroy a city in order to have that equivalent energy, or harm people with City level durability. Such as characters who can tank planets exploding upon them, getting hurt if a more powerful person punches them through a building.
Therefore if a character is listed as having City level Attack Potency, that does not always equate to it being said that their attacks can destroy cities.
Character A has a FTL speed feat, and Character B outpaces or speed blitzes Character A, then it is safe to asses that Character B has FTL speed as well.
- Altenatively if Character A has a FTL feat, Character B blitzed Character A and Character C is faster than Character A, it is safe to assess that Character C is FTL as well.
Character A has a City level feat. Character B lost to Character A, yet still put up a considerable fight, was able to harm him and clearly made Character A exert effort into defeating Character B, then it is safe to assess that Character B has City level Attack Potency and Durability as well.
- In this case, due to the massive broadness of tiers, even if there is a clear power gap between two characters, it typically cannot be a big enough gap that they're tiers apart if they can have an actual fight with someone. As, for example, a Small Planet level would never be able to harm or do anything at all to a Large Planet level, as the gap between the two tiers is nearly 30 million times. So even if a character overall lost to a Large Planet, if they were able to cause considerable harm to and hold their own against that person, they'd have to be Large Planet level. Though on a clearly lesser extent as the Large Planet level they lost to.
If Character A has a City level feat and Character B has been reliably stated to be superior to Character A, it is safe to assess that Character B is City level as well.
- Of course this example especially needs to be done on a case by case basis, as statements are not always reliable/consistent. For further information on how we determine if a statement can be used, please read here and here.
Examples of Nonviable Powerscaling
- Character A has City level durability, and Character B harmed Character A through durability negating hax. Then it is not safe to assess that Character B has City level Attack Potency since they didn't use their Attack Potency to overwhelm the target's durability.
- Character A is City level, and Character B was able to survive attacks from or harm Character A. However Character A was holding back, restricting themselves, not putting their all into their attacks or was in a weakened state during the fight, then it is not safe to asses that Character B has City level AP or durability. As this would clearly indicate that the two do not have comparable power and that one is much superior to the other.
- Character A is Solar System level and FTL and Character B has bested Character A in combat. However Character B's upper limits in the past have been established to be Wall level and Subsonic. Then it is not safe to assess that Character B is Solar System level and FTL, with such occasions being declared an outlier/PIS for Character B.
- Character A has Human level stats physically, but using telekinesis they can destroy a Building. Character B defeated Character A in a physical fight that he wasn't using his telekinesis in. Then it is not safe to assess that Character B has Building level Attack Potency, as it would not require that level of AP to physically overpower Character A, due to him being a glass cannon.
For pages similar to this one which may help you understand some of the concepts described here better, please visit these pages: