With Nadal seemingly born again in his first tour event since retiring from last September's US Open semi-finals with a knee injury and flying through to the final without dropping a set, Djokovic knows he is in for another titanic tussle seven years on. This time, it lasted just a bit more than 2 hours.
Coach Carlos Moya, who replaced Toni Nadal at the start of last season, has been the main driving force behind the changes, with the former world number one seeing them as essential to prolong his countryman's career.
The top two players in the world have 31 Grand Slam titles between them and each can claim another slice of history with victory.
Djokovic controlled every facet of the match from the first toss. Having won only two points off Djokovic's first seven service games, Nadal finally prised a break point in the fifth game of the third to get back on serve but it quickly disappeared in a maelstrom of power hitting. That is a staggering statistic. Nadal beat 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0; Djokovic defeated 24-year-old Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-2, 6-2. The Serbian lost just 13 points on serve.
Djokovic entered the clash with Nadal as the favourite and blew away his old rival with a straight-sets victory. Like everything Djokovic tried on Sunday, it worked.
It is their eighth in a Grand Slam final. The final count: 21 winners and 28 unforced errors for Nadal; 34 winners and nine unforced errors for Djokovic.
But as impressive as Nadal was in the past fortnight, the 17-times major victor felt his lack of match practise before the Australian Open was a telling point in his comprehensive loss to Djokovic.
The crafty Serb floated a drop-shot over and Nadal's scrambling retrieval clipped the net cord to give Djokovic ample time to swoop in and collect it.
Then again, Nadal conceded, "When the player did nearly everything better than you, you can't complain much".
Some of Djokovic's most fearless feats have come in the Big Apple-most notably demonstrated by saving match points against Roger Federer in 2010 and 2011 in epic contests.
Their only previous final in Australia, in 2012, developed into a record-breaking 5hr 53min slugfest - the longest in Grand Slam history.
It is their 15th at a major, equaling the record. Federer is at 20, Nadal at 17. Passing Federer once seemed achievable, before the slump made it unrealistic; now it again feels possible, if not probable.
When the No 1-ranked Djokovic and No 2 Nadal meet Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena for the tournament championship, there will be differences, right down to the most obvious: Djokovic is a righty, Nadal a lefty.
Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion, is eyeing a third consecutive major, a feat that would make him the only man to win three slams on the trot three times.