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In the Hunter X Hunter anime, Meruem is said to be (arguably) the strongest character in the series. However while reading about Hisoka, I found that he once thought to challenge Ging to a battle to death, which seems astonishing because Netero once said that Ging is one of the five best Nen users in the world.

Is there any reference (either in the manga or in the anime) that conclusively says that Meruem is far more powerful than Hisoka?

Note: In the anime, Neferpitou's aura is reported to have much more murderous intent that both Hisoka and Illumi's, but I don't know whether it necessarily implies that Hisoka is weaker than Meruem.

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Meruem is actually the strongest living being in term of Nen Aura. This is also due to his Nen consumption ability, as seen in his wiki article:

Meruem's initial ability gives him strength through consumption. Meruem's aura grows every time he devours a user of Nen, with their aura synthesizing to his own.

Additionally, Netero, who was one of the strongest characters in Hunter X Hunter, couldn't really beat Meruem. Don't forget what he said to Meruem when he met him:

When? When did I start waiting for my opponent to make the first move? When, indeed? It became a routine. The loser held out his hands in gratitude for the lesson and I graciously accepted without skipping a beat. As if that was what I wanted!! That's not how it should be!! For so long, I sought the height of perfection. I dreamed of giving my heart and soul to battle an unstoppable adversary!! I'm a lucky man. I'm thankful for everything that led me to this point...that led me to you!!

So considering this, Hisoka has to be weaker than Netero, who is indeed weaker than Meruem.

But as already said in Kalilz's answer:

When it comes to a fight between Nen users, pure power doesn't mean everything. One may have an ability than can overpower a type of opponent.

  • It is to note that the Chairman said that due to his advanced age (110 years old) that he was only at about 50% of the full strength he had when he was younger. One could argue that a prime Netero could easily stand toe to toe with Meruem. There is also another character mentioned in the series, Maha Zoldyck, that people praised Netero for even managing to walk away from a fight with. But post-Rose Meruem was by far probably the strongest Nen user in their neck of the woods. – SWard Jul 28 '15 at 11:26
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    I also forgot to add Gon after his transformation, it was confirmed by Pitou that he was an equivalent to pre-Rose Meruem. – SWard Jul 28 '15 at 12:05
  • @SWard: Remember that the final fight between Hisoka and Gon hasn't commenced yet. So, I think that Hisoka may have some hidden tricks. – user 170039 Sep 3 '15 at 13:51
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This can be answered by using the only quantitative source of strength we have for HxH. I've said it before however,

When it comes to a fight between Nen users, pure power doesn't mean everything. One may have an ability than can overpower a type of opponent.

However the below data points conclusively prove that Meruem is WAY more powerful than Hisoka and he can only beat him under extraordinary circumstances.

According to the "Hunter × Hunter Manual" section found in the Yu ☆ Yu ☆ Hakusho official character book (Shueisha Jump remix), Hisoka's stats are:

enter image description here

Comparing them to Meruem

enter image description here

Sources: Read The Trivia Section at the page's bottom
Meruem: HxH Wikia
Hisoka: HxH Wikia

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When it comes to a fight between Nen users, pure power doesn't mean everything. One may have an ability than can overpower a type of opponent (for instance: Kurapika vs. Uvogin).

In terms of pure power, Meruem is far stronger than Hisoka (probably stronger than any living being). I'd say Hisoka is about the same level as a Royal Guard (mainly because Hisoka has a lot of battle experience).

That being said, Hisoka doesn't seek for anyone weaker than him when he wants to fight. So the fact that he thought to challenge Ging doesn't mean he's able to gauge his power and think he can beat him.

I can't give you any reference, personally I think the 2011 anime (didn't read the scans) shows that Meruem is the strongest being we ever saw by far. There is something else though. Before the final battle between Hunters and Ants, Netero says that someone will have to be sacrificed. I think he simply knew that nobody could beat the Ant King in a fight and already thought about using a bomb.

  • Assuming that Hisoka is more powerful than Illumi (although it is not explicitly stated anywhere) I think that he is at least much more powerful than even the Zodiacs. Netero knew that nobody couldn't beat the King doesn't mean that Hisoka can't defeat him because he wasn't even present there! Also, I don't get how "the 2011 anime ... shows that Meruem is the strongest being we ever saw by far", can you explain this a bit? – user 170039 Nov 18 '14 at 12:40
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    Well, Meruem beat Netero without difficulty (he never even lost his breath). Meruem surprised Zeno Zoldyck and Netero in terms of speed (remember just before leaving the castle). Plus Hisoka isn't a Enhancer, so his body wouldn't be able to sustain a single hit from Meruem. Of course it's only probabilities, but I don't think Hisoka's full ability is far more powerful than what we already saw. Of course we don't know and there may have a "stronger guy" in this world but, well there is absolutely nothing to tell us for now ^^ (at least nobody we saw so far) – Kalilz Nov 18 '14 at 12:48
  • It would be inaccurate to think he would be more powerful than Illumi, as Illumi threatened to kill Hisoka (he taught Killua not to engage in a battle that cant be won). It was also stated in canon that Meruem is the strongest in the present world. In the outer world he is considered weaker than the calamities. Also Hunter Association is fully aware of Hisoka and his tendencies. They would've approached him if he could've won the fight with pure strength/ability (and hisoka would've accepted since he seeks strong fights) – Quikstryke Nov 19 '14 at 20:14
  • @Quikstryke: Hisoka wouldn't because he was then playing hide and seek with Chrollo. – user 170039 Jul 28 '15 at 2:39
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Hisoka died from an explosion in the Heaven's Arena, Compare that with Meruem who survived a Nuke. Even the calamities (except may be Bryon and Ai) are probably weaker than him.

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In the beginning of the anime, Hisoka point blank tells Netero he wants to fight him, but Netero ignores him. This is significant because as stated during the fight with Meruem, Netero has been bored for a long time and is grateful to have a chance to fight someone that could kill him. Again, he ignored Hisoka, not because Hisoka was hiding his bloodlust or aura (the examiners felt it and so did the other applicants; also, he almost killed an examiner the last time he took the test, so it would be odd if Netero wasn't aware of him.)

Yet, did Netero fight him? Nope. He just ignored him. So Netero clearly doesn't find Hisoka to be worth fighting. And why should he? We have seen Hisoka go all out already in his fight with Chrollo and he showed no other ability than his gum... and while a flexible use of nen, it provides him with no way of hurting someone like Netero. Netero's fight with the King dealt thousands of punches in the blink of an eye. Hisoka has shown no such speed or endurance to tank attacks of that caliber. Sun and Moon, the attack Chrollo uses to kill Hisoka, explodes Heaven Arena, sure, but Netero's Zero Hand melted stone! There would be nothing left from Hisoka. And yet, Meruem tanked all those attacks from Netero.

So yes, I would put him way above Hisoka. What can Hisoka do? Throw a card? Won't damage the King's skin. Hold him down with gum? Hisoka couldn't move Razor's puppet and had to release the nen gum. I seriously doubt he could stop Meruem from moving. One slap from the King's tail and Hisoka is dead. Hisoka is not fast enough to dodge an attack from the Ant King.

Now Hisoka wanting to fight Ging... his bloodlust clouds his vision. He wanted to fight Netero, and he could never win that fight. He wanted to fight Chrollo and Chrollo killed him. I would also like to point out Killua thought he could kill Netero during the exam... so clearly rankings by Killua or Hisoka are not to be relied on.

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