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What this thread is ultimately discussing is whether ichigo went through a loss of power after SS arc. His poor performance against grimmjow(getting his ass handed to him by a sealed espada while using bankai), his disastrous performance against dodorni (he got his ass handed to him by a guy who apparently was not even proper captain level), his overall inability to keep up with shikai against captain level enemies, IMO point towards such a drop in power being there in his base form. Heck, ichigo's masked strongest attack didn't even scratch yami and a guy who ichigo defeated with shikai and another with bankai took out his stronger resurreccion form... Mask might increase ichigo's speed and stamina but the boost would not be as effective if his base form power decreases. It even makes sense his base form power would decrease if his badge actually was meant to supress his power along with all the stuff that was wrong with him to begin with (his inner hollow taking over, his inner world sinking into an ocean and so on).
Well considering the fact that we now know for a fact that his shinigami badge was restricting his power i think that explains why ichigo seemed so strong in the SS arc but appeared to be so weak afterwards. I mean you have thought that since Grimmjow barehanded was beating Ichigo in bankai, that he would be able to beat Byakuya and Kenpachi as well but clearly we know that isn't the case. His badge was the reason for his inconsistent power levels since the SS Arc so its safe to say that he was stronger in the SS Arc because his badge was holding him back.
Vaizard Ichigo take this.
Clearly proven on manga when SS ichigo started getting owned he had to switch to vaizard form?