For now , Gildarts is the strongest for me but in the future probably will be natsu because i think theres more to natsu than just dragon slayer powers like how dragon slayer magic is his primary magic and needs to learn a secondary power like how in other manga , naruto has jutsu as primary and kyuubi as seconday and ichigo has shinigami as primary and hollow as secondary , maybe when natsu obtais this secondary power , he will be near invincible .
I really wonder whether Mashima even plans to ever place Natsu above the other FT mages. Ezra mentioned several times that she believes he will surpass her but the only possible hint that the distance in power shortened we've seen so far was when Ezra didn't experience the same side effect from the second origin release as the others. If the way things are now don't change then even when Natsu would defeat a dragon it wouldn't mean he is more powerful than the other S-class mages.
as for me its Lucy shes extremely strong just hasnt learnt about her potential yet, she will eventually learn how to summon all 12 spirits at once and just spam urano metoria
I believe that Marakov is still the strongest, next is Gildartz, and then Erza, Natsu, and Laxus that are quite in equal terms based on the situation that they are in. But among the 3 on the 3rd place, Natsu can increase his battle power depending on the situation not to mention that he also possess the Lightning Dragon Magic.
Gildarts is far from being Makarov's equal. He was stated to be equal to Jura, who acknowledged Makarov to be as far above him as the sky above the ground. Gildarts didn't fight Acnologia, it all happened in a flash. He left him half dead in a mere moment. Badly hurt is a huge understatement. Leaving someone half dead in an instant is not a fight, at least not in my point of view.
top 6 for me from fairy tail giuld
---------- Post added at 09:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:52 AM ----------
My top 20 of current active mages
I think that Gildarts is one of the top mages in the FT world. From what we have seen in the GMG Gildarts could have been a one man team and still come out as the winner. The reason why Mashima sent him on a journey is most likely cause there would be no real challange to Gildarts in the GMG tournament.
What is speacial about Gildarts is that his magic power can even destroy magic itself like he did against Bluenote and Natsu's flames.
In a fight against Makarov it would all come to if Gildarts would be able to crash FL and FG.
MY list would be:
2.Laxus,Jellal and Jura
3.Erza, Natsu, Mirajane
4.Gray,Gazille and so on.
At the end of the manga considering all characters:
1.Awakened Natsu, Zeref
2. Awakened Gazille
He loves him to much to be able to kill him with a magic that has such a restriction.
On the other end, Gildartz has no restriction with his magic, so he could freely use it against Makarov.