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This is DarkofDragoon's third What-If? Death Battle. Criticism is welcome, just as long as you're gentle.

Roy Mustang vs Zuko
Roy vs Zuko cover image
Season 1, Episode 3
Vital statistics
Air date April 19th, 2015
Written by DarkofDragoon
Directed by DarkofDragoon
Episode guide
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Flame Alchemist vs Fire-bender! Two of the most well-known fire users clash! Can Zuko and his fire-bending prove to be a match for Roy's tactical alchemist style? Find out here!


Wiz: Fire - the deadly substance that since its creation many years ago, has helped to keep mankind alive.

Boomstick: Whenever there's an element, there's sure to be an animated character that can control it.

Wiz: Hey Boomstick, these two can actually make fire this time.

Boomstick ...Aw hell yeah! It's Roy Mustang, the State Alchemist.

Wiz: And Zuko, the fire-bending prodigy.

Boomstick: He's Wiz and I'm Boomstick.

Wiz: It's our job to analyse their weapons, armour and skill to see who would win in a Death Battle.

Roy Mustang[]


Wiz: Little is known about him from his birth but at an early age, Roy Mustang was orphaned and taken in by his birth father's sister, Chris Mustang. She wanted to raise young Roy into becoming a true gentlemen, which seemed to have worked.

Boomstick: This didn't last for very long, as he began learning magic from a master magician called Bethold Hawkeye.

Wiz: Alchemy isn't magic! Alchemy is a metaphysical art involving the creation of objects and items through the use of natural energy. When using alchemy, it is usually referred to as 'transmuting', which follows a three-step sequence: comprehension, the idea that the user needs to know about what they are transmuting; deconstruction, using energy to break down matter and finally; reconstruction, using the flow of energy to turn the matter into a new material.

Boomstick: ...I have no fucking idea what you just said Wiz, but I'm going with it anyway! Roy learned magic from Bethold until he joined the State Military Academy, where he dreamed of becoming a State Alchemist, a high-ranked user of magic.

Wiz: Mustang wanted to become a State Alchemist so he could become a figurehead of power for the people of Amestris and provide them with his protection. In the academy, he became good friends with Maes Hughes and the two quickly became best friends.

Boomstick: One day, Roy went back to Bethold so he could learn more and even persuade the guy to become a State Alchemist, but he soon died in Roy's arms, telling him that he can learn the secrets of his research only if he looks after his hot daughter, Riza Hawkeye.

Wiz: Riza shared with Roy the secrets of her father's research: Flame Alchemy, the usage of fire through the ideals of alchemy. After learning Flame Alchemy, Roy passed the exam necessary to become a State Alchemist, earning the title of 'Major' and becoming the first 'Flame Alchemist'. He is now in charge of certain operations, is close to the Fuhrer and currently manages the actions of the Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric.

Boomstick: With fire magic, Roy can snap his fingers to create a stream of fire that burns down his foes. 

Wiz: Actually, Roy manipulates the oxygen around him, making it dense enough so that it becomes volatile. He's so good at this, he can even fire concentrated shots and even aim it around his allies. However, only his special gloves, made of pyrotex ignition cloth can make the sparks that transmute into massive flames.


Fire Alchemy, able to fire in concentrated shots and even create explosions

( Boomstick: There's only a couple downsides to this fire magic. First of all, it's impossible to create a spark on a rainy day, pretty much making Roy's main battle techniques useless when it's wet. Second of all, without those gloves, he can't really do anything with fire.

Wiz: While it is true Roy can't make a spark when it's raining, he has proven that he can separate hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms inside the water molecules of rain and create sparks that way, but he can only do this in confined spaces. Also, Roy can use external sources of fire such as lighters or matches to initiate flame alchemy.

Boomstick: If he ever needs to, Roy can always pull out a hand pistol, though he usually doesn't. Which is fair enough, 'cause if it were me, I'd rather be shootin' fire than makin' my opponents eat lead!


Pyrotex gloves or external fire sources

Wiz: After performing Human Transmutation, the ultimate alchemy taboo, Roy gains the ability to transmute without the need for transmutation circles. This allows him to use non-fire related alchemy, though he has only been seen to use stone walls.

Boomstick: Still, Roy Mustang is one hell of a badass. He's a major in the military and an awesome strategist, able to take on nearly any kind of opponent.

Wiz: Mustang has managed to defeat Homunculi, which are artificial humans that can regenerate. He takes on battles with a calm, collected personality and likes to outsmart his enemies and always seems to succeed, even if the odds are stacked against him.

Boomstick: Don't mess with this guy! He can even burn your fucking eyeballs! That's gotta hurt!

Wiz: Roy is still a regular human and has limited stamina, but he has been able to survive in elongated battles thanks to his intellect. All in all, Roy Mustang is a fearsome combatant and can't be defeated easily.

Roy Mustang: The power of one man doesn't amount to much. But, with whatever little strength I'm capable of...I'll do everything humanly possible to protect the people I love and in turn, they'll protect the ones they love. It seems like the least we tiny humans can do for each other.



Boomstick: Some say princes are shiny guys that know little about politics and care only about themselves. Zuko on the other hand is a BADASS prince.

Wiz: Zuko was born to the then-prince Ozai and Princess Ursa, but Ozai deemed Zuko unworthy to be a bender as he lacked 'a spark in his eyes' that the majority of fire-benders had upon birth. It's like a symbol that basically confirms a person to be a bender and since Zuko didn't have this, he was actually doubted to be a bender in the first place.

Boomstick: Ozai's kind of a dick. He was gonna banish Zuko from the place but once he began to fire-bend, Ozai's mind was changed and he allowed his son to stay. During their time in the royal Fire Nation royal place-thing, no-one in Zuko's family was happy. Shame there's no Jerry Springer in the Avatar universe.

Wiz: If that was the case, I'd watch it, but I digress. The family was only considered 'happy' on their frequent visits to Ember Island, which really sucks. As time passed, Zuko became a subject of ridicule from his sister, Azula and was frequently picked on. To make things worse, Ozai appreciated Azula more than Zuko and had even called the boy 'lucky to be born' at times.

Boomstick: Shit. Life didn't get any better for Zuko, 'cause during a special meeting with some Fire Nation generals, he spoke out even though Ozai told him not to. His punishment? Some fire-bending fight at sunset.

Wiz: Agni Kai, a deadly fight between two fire-benders and is only won when one combatant burns another. Zuko was not aware that he'd be fighting his father and was on the floor, pleading for mercy. Ozai...was not so considerate and burned his son, leaving a horrible burn mark around his left eye. Zuko was then banished from the Fire Nation, while his uncle Iroh followed him. He believed that the only way to re-obtain his former glory and return home was to capture the Avatar, who had awoken two years later, near the Southern Water Tribe.

Boomstick: Zuko spent the next few years ambitiously searching for the Avatar, always finding him, but the arrow-headed boy would always escape. These failures taunted Zuko, until he joined the Avatar and friends later on and became Aang's fire-bending teacher. Eventually, Zuko actually returned home and became Fire Lord, clearing up after his daddy and fixing the Fire Nation.

Wiz: With fire-bending, Zuko can shoot fire from nearly any point on his body. He learnt fire-bending from an early age, by fire-bending teachers in the Fire Nation colonies. Later, after he was banished, Zuko began being trained by Iroh, which increased his skill, power and fire-bending prowess. Originally, his fire-bending was more strict, alike Fire Nation soldiers but after joining Team Avatar and losing his rage, his fire-bending stances became more fluid and quicker after learning from the Sun Warriors along with the Avatar himself.


Firebending - source of power being the sun inside of him

( Boomstick: He can also make walls of fire to protect himself from blasts and can even make shields to do pretty much the same thing. Zuko can reflect any kind of fire and can go toe-to-toe with some of the best fire-benders out there, like Zhao or Azula. That's not all; Zuko can even redirect his fire around corners and even fire big enough blasts that they fill halls! Shit, that's pretty awesome! It's like nope, you're not gettin' away!

Wiz: Zuko's fire-bending is said to be the best of his kind...while he was still alive, of course. During his earlier age, before being banished, he was also taught how to use dual dao blades and can even use fire daggers as well as being able to light whatever swords he's using on fire to make things even more difficult for his opponents.

Boomstick: The guy's so good with his swords, even his dad pussied out when they met during the eclipse, when no fire-bender could shoot a single flame. He's even used knives. Even when fire's not an option and there's no swords around, he's strong enough to break spears with his bare hands and can break through iron with a single kick. He's also fast enough to run along walls, defeating gravity and is awesome at stealth, able to infiltrate entire prisons.

Wiz: Even when things are turned against him, Zuko's intelligence allows him to formulate strategies and turn nearly any situation into an advantageous one. As a Fire Lord, his public speaking and charisma allows him to become a great leader and reform the once hated Fire Nation into a respected and loved nation, undoing its evil done in the One-Hundred Year War during the Avatar's absence.

Boomstick: There's no stopping this flaming badass!

Zuko: You're going to fail a lot before things work out. But even though you'll probably fail over and over and over again, you have to try every time. You can't quit because you're afraid you might fail.



A black limousine drove along the bottom of the Fire Nation Capital, having made it over seas thanks to boat transportation. After it reached less than halfway, the limo turned sideways, allowing a tall man with untidy hair and in some sophisticated uniform to exit the car and prepare himself.

"I recommend you get as far away from here as possible, I wouldn't want you getting burned," the man suggested, prompting the driver of the car to drive away from the current scene.

Upon the opposite side of where the man was facing, four Fire Nation soldiers carrying some royal form of transportation for their leaders appeared and put it down, allowing a teenager to exit and prepare himself.

"Get away from here. I'll be fine by myself," the teenager ordered, telling the Fire Nation soldiers to carry the carriage far away from the soon-to-be battlefield. 

The man and teen stared down each other, knowing exactly what the other person wanted.

"So, you're the Fire Lord of the illustrious Fire Nation, Zuko?" the older person questioned. "You look like one of my subordinates."

"And you must be the Brigadier General of the State Military, Roy Mustang," the teen noted. "It's a shame you're not gonna be holding that position for long."

"What makes you say that?" the man, revealed to be Roy, raised an eyebrow.

"Because this is where you'll meet your end," the teen, now known as Zuko, threatened.

With one final stare down, Zuko got into a fighting stance taught to him by his uncle, while Roy remained unfazed by the boy's supposed threats.



Zuko fired a massive stream of fire that at first shocked Roy, but he managed to transmute his own blast of fire that defended him from the opposing flames.

He knows flame alchemy? I thought I was the only one to learn Bethold's secrets... Roy wondered, focusing his aim towards Zuko's eyes and shooting a speedy fire stream that Zuko easily fire-bended out of harm's way. "Alright, answer me. How is it that you know flame alchemy?"

"Flame alchemy? You mean fire-bending?" Zuko questioned, confused by Roy's words.

So it must be some other alchemy I've yet to hear about, guessed Mustang. "Never mind." He snapped his finger, sending out another wave of fire that Zuko reflected, retaliating with his own fire that was again, blocked.

This combination of blocking, reflecting and shooting fire repeated itself several times over, until Roy decided to aim for Zuko's eyes. Upon the Flame Alchemist's finger snapping, the Fire Lord quickly bended a shield made out of fire and used said flames for another blast that was easily blocked.

The battle of heated proportions seemed to halt, as if frozen in time. In actuality, the two combatants were busy formulating strategies.

He's quick with his offences and defences and seems to be able to control flames as fluently as I can, dare I say better, Roy planned. There has to be an opening somewhere.

I'm not sure what alchemy is, but that's definitely fire-bending. Why haven't I seen him in any Fire Nation colonies? He's surely strange, Zuko noticed. His forms are all wrong. I'll be sure to exploit that.


Zuko resumed the battle with a large pillar of fire that zoomed directly in on Roy's position, forcing him to evade the attack and fire his own, which was bended away. The Fire Lord then began to dash forward, shooting multiple blasts of fire while jumping all over the place, to create projectiles from all sorts of angles. Mustang knew that there was no way that a single snap would stop all these projectiles, so he placed his palms on the ground and used Alchemy to transmute a rock wall, protecting the State Alchemist from harm.

What he didn't expect was for his opponent to break through the rock wall with a single kick. Still, Roy kept his composure and sent several flames Zuko's way, forcing him to block with another fire shield, again using the shield's fire as a blast that was blocked by another one of Mustang's alchemic fires.

Zuko shot three more bended fires, with Roy blocking with three snapped flames. This process would keep repeating itself until Zuko shook it up by bending Roy's attacks back at him, forcing him to go on the defensive. Once Roy finished blocking the final reflected fire, Zuko charged in and began fighting with his fists, going in for a straight lunge, though Roy narrowly dodged and aimed for Zuko's feet and snapped, though the Fire Lord jumped over the attack.

Now staring deeply into Mustang's determined eyes, Zuko whipped out a dagger for each hand and lit them both on fire, nearly catching the Flame Alchemist off-guard. Zuko again rushed in and tried his best to stab Roy but as the latter leaned to the side to avoid one, he snapped and used a blast of fire to disarm Zuko from both hands.

Roy stood back up, regaining his composure. He watched as Zuko equipped himself with dual dao blades and tried his best to even get a single slash on the alchemist, though that never happened. Mustang was curious at this fighting style, though.

Interesting, I knew Bradley used blades, but not quite like this. This will be no problem, Roy commented to himself, sending an explosion of fire aimed for Zuko's pupils but to his surprise, was bended away. So he can transmute without a transmutation circle. Did he perform human transmutation?

"You're not half bad. But, I have a nation to protect," remarked Zuko. "No amount of fire you send at me will change that."

"I will become Fuhrer and bring democracy to Amestris," Roy refuted. "It appears we both have something to protect."


The two fire users stared each other down a third time, of which Roy broke by shooting fire at Zuko, which he bended back towards its creator. Roy used another blast of fire to defend himself and was again forced to continue evading Zuko's sword slashes until one eventually connected with his arm, forcing him to recoil in pain. Finding an opening, Zuko shot some flames hoping that would do the trick but found that Mustang still had some fight left in him, as he was clearly still able to block the fire with his own fire, though the snap seemed to have a slight delay.

A problem created because of the cut, Zuko guessed. Roy knew this would slow his movements down - luckily, he had his left hand available for accurate attacks. Still, accuracy proved to be worthless compared to firebending. Zuko bended more blasts from Roy until he managed to get in close and score yet another hit on the other arm, one that tore through the alchemist's uniform and right through his skin, blood now running down both of his arms.

Now slowed thanks to the blood loss, Roy found it increasingly challenging to evade further attacks and found one of the dao blades had pierced his chest. He widened his eyes in horror and did his best to keep his composure, though all he could do was fall to his knees and do his best to soothe the pain.

"I've failed..." Roy croaked. "I'm sorry Riza, Armstrong...Fullmetal. I've let all of you down."

Zuko stood over the pained Roy and ended his life with one final stream of flames, burning at his skin and leaving him as nothing but a horribly scarred corpse.


Zuko ordered two Fire Nation soldiers to clear up Roy Mustang's deceased body, as he walked back to the palace in peace. Though, he couldn't help to feel sorry for the man and his friends. Despite this guilt, Zuko remained a compassionate leader: a good Fire Lord.



Wiz: That was an interesting match. While Roy had more destructive fire, Zuko's fire-bending easily allowed him to protect himself by either shielding, or simply reflecting the flames. Roy could use his fire to block, that's about it.

Boomstick: He's never been shown to use any other magic besides fire and rock and even then, he's only made rock walls.

Wiz: Zuko is far more agile than Mustang and can even break iron by merely kicking it, meaning that a single kick is all that Zuko needs to break any stone wall that Roy transmutes. Since fire-bending makes flame alchemy useless, that leaves Zuko with his swordsmanship and unarmed capabilities. Roy had no such strengths.

Boomstick: Mustang's fights usually involve him standin' still and shootin' fire. While he can defeat things that can regenerate and have like, a thousand lives, when his weapons are taken away from him, he's nothin'.

Wiz: Zuko's fire is on a much grander scale than Roy's and he's even fought other fire-benders. Mustang's never battled another fire user before, so it was difficult to adjust but he eventually regained his composure and gave Zuko a tough time until he got serious burns.

Boomstick: It looks like Roy couldn't take the heat.

Wiz: The winner is Zuko.

Next Time on Death Battle![]

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