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How good of a swordsman is Stefan in comparison to other great swordsman like Ike and the Black Knight?

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My question is in the topic. I am wondering  how strong canonically, Stefan is compared to Ike, the Black Knight, Greil,etc? He's clearly a great swordsman, better than Ike at first in POR. I am guessing that Ike eventually surpasses him, either by the end of POR or sometime during RD? And as great of a swordsman as Stefan is, I am guessing that he is not a strong as the Black Knight? I am just wondering if anyone has any definitive information on this. Any quotes from the dialogue about it or something like that.

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8 minutes ago, Whisky said:

My question is in the topic. I am wondering  how strong canonically, Stefan is compared to Ike, the Black Knight, Greil,etc? He's clearly a great swordsman, better than Ike at first in POR. I am guessing that Ike eventually surpasses him, either by the end of POR or sometime during RD? And as great of a swordsman as Stefan is, I am guessing that he is not a strong as the Black Knight? I am just wondering if anyone has any definitive information on this. Any quotes from the dialogue about it or something like that.

I think the game implies that he's a master of all things sword by giving him max rank at base (S in PoR, SS in RD), as well as an incredibly high starting level. He also adknowledges that he's powerful in one of his battle conversations with a boss from PoR:

Homasa: "It seems you're quite a fencer. Shall I teach you something?"
Stefan: "Sheathe your blade. If that's all the skill you possess, you're not ready to challenge me."
Homasa: "What?! Have at you!"

And Homasa is a swordsmaster, so he too is obviously quite accomplished with a blade.

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I'd think Stefan is on par with the likes of Ike and the Black Knight overall. If the game and story weren't pushing for it, he could've easily grabbed Ragnell and fought the BK and Ashnard as well if not actually better than Ike.

Now, by RD, things would change. Even discounting Yune's power boost in Part 4, I think Ike has already surpassed Stefan in strength. However, Stefan might still be the faster and more skilled swordsman if by virtue of his branded blood and the possibility he has been training with the sword for even longer than Ike and the BK. We don't really have his exact age, no? So he could still have the experience edge.

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This makes me pay attention to his character a lot more, thanks to what's been contributed. I do think he's quite powerful, though I would've never guessed he could potentially be up there. I wouldn't be surprised if he's at least at Ike's level by the end of PoR.

In my first playthrough, I didn't really care for Mia, and I couldn't even recruit Zihark. I used Stefan all the way through, and he's been a really good unit up to the very end. Even in RD, his stats don't really fall behind.

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Reminds me of their base conversation:

Stefan
In the desert, I watched the dance of your sword. You have a unique style, but it is incomplete, filled with hesitation. You have recently lost your teacher, no?
Ike
Ah...
Stefan
Luckily, your foundation is quite strong. Which is why I can be of service. Your technique... How powerful will it be when perfected? I would like to know.

It clearly implies Stefan is a lot stronger than Ike at this point. Other than that, I don't believe a comparison is made again.

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On 2/13/2020 at 6:30 PM, Benice said:

I think the game implies that he's a master of all things sword by giving him max rank at base (S in PoR, SS in RD), as well as an incredibly high starting level. He also adknowledges that he's powerful in one of his battle conversations with a boss from PoR:

Homasa: "It seems you're quite a fencer. Shall I teach you something?"
Stefan: "Sheathe your blade. If that's all the skill you possess, you're not ready to challenge me."
Homasa: "What?! Have at you!"

And Homasa is a swordsmaster, so he too is obviously quite accomplished with a blade.

Good point about him always starting with max sword rank. That definitely implies an extremely high level of skill. Stefan is definitely implied to be an amazing swordsman, especially in POR. I think Ike might surpass him by the end of RD though. I guess there might not be any confirmation or denial of this in the game.

On 2/13/2020 at 6:34 PM, Acacia Sgt said:

I'd think Stefan is on par with the likes of Ike and the Black Knight overall. If the game and story weren't pushing for it, he could've easily grabbed Ragnell and fought the BK and Ashnard as well if not actually better than Ike.

Now, by RD, things would change. Even discounting Yune's power boost in Part 4, I think Ike has already surpassed Stefan in strength. However, Stefan might still be the faster and more skilled swordsman if by virtue of his branded blood and the possibility he has been training with the sword for even longer than Ike and the BK. We don't really have his exact age, no? So he could still have the experience edge.

There isn't actually any story reason for why Ike is the only one to wield the Ragnell is there? In RD, anyone with an SS in Swords (which Stefan has) can use the Alondite, so I don't see why he couldn't use the Ragnell too. The Black Knight is actually implied to have been holding back in POR though. Ike finally defeating him in a 1v1 fight in RD is meant to signify Ike finally surpassing him and the Black Knight also says at that point that Ike fought as well as his father. So if Ike doesn't surpass Stefan until around then, then Stefan probably wouldn't have been able to defeat the Black Knight, or he would have been about equal with him.

On 2/13/2020 at 10:15 PM, Soul >8] said:

This makes me pay attention to his character a lot more, thanks to what's been contributed. I do think he's quite powerful, though I would've never guessed he could potentially be up there. I wouldn't be surprised if he's at least at Ike's level by the end of PoR.

In my first playthrough, I didn't really care for Mia, and I couldn't even recruit Zihark. I used Stefan all the way through, and he's been a really good unit up to the very end. Even in RD, his stats don't really fall behind.

Stefan seems pretty impressive in gameplay. I didn't get him in my first playthrough. Then I recruited him in my second playthrough and saw that his base stats were already comparable to my unit's end game stats from the previous playthrough.

In story, I'm not sure. Greil, Ashnard, Ike, The Black Knight, and Stefan are all incredibly powerful swordsman. 

On 2/14/2020 at 4:27 AM, whase said:

Reminds me of their base conversation:

Stefan
In the desert, I watched the dance of your sword. You have a unique style, but it is incomplete, filled with hesitation. You have recently lost your teacher, no?
Ike
Ah...
Stefan
Luckily, your foundation is quite strong. Which is why I can be of service. Your technique... How powerful will it be when perfected? I would like to know.

It clearly implies Stefan is a lot stronger than Ike at this point. Other than that, I don't believe a comparison is made again.

That's a good source. It proves that Stefan was better than Ike in POR, but that's what I already figured. The game doesn't tell us when Ike surpasses Stefan, if at all.

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Just now, Whisky said:

There isn't actually any story reason for why Ike is the only one to wield the Ragnell is there? In RD, anyone with an SS in Swords (which Stefan has) can use the Alondite, so I don't see why he couldn't use the Ragnell too. The Black Knight is actually implied to have been holding back in POR though. Ike finally defeating him in a 1v1 fight in RD is meant to signify Ike finally surpassing him and the Black Knight also says at that point that Ike fought as well as his father. So if Ike doesn't surpass Stefan until around then, then Stefan probably wouldn't have been able to defeat the Black Knight, or he would have been about equal with him.

There isn't. Unlike other weapons across the series, nothing stops anyone from using Ragnell. The story simply states Ike should use it and the game follows suit preventing you from removing it form his inventory; but it's never that he's the only one who can in the lore.

I believe that is a localization thing. The original Japanese script has the BK unable to use his full strength due to the warp powder. Regardless, he's certainly not fighting at full strength during his Ch27 fight with Ike.

Well, I still stand that, depending on Stefan's age, he might be more experienced and skilled with the blade than even the BK. If he's older than the BK, then likely. There's also the factor of branded strength. We know the branded can have different strengths, abilities, or powers depending on their laguz blood. We know Stefan has lion laguz blood, which are certainly high on the laguz hierarchy, with perhaps only the dragons above them. Meanwhile, I don't think we get an exact mention of the BK's. So hard to gauge on that front.

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1 hour ago, Whisky said:

 That's a good source. It proves that Stefan was better than Ike in POR, but that's what I already figured. The game doesn't tell us when Ike surpasses Stefan, if at all.

If he's at least significantly stronger than Ike in PoR, I wouldn't be surprised if he was at least relative to BK and Ike by the end of the game. We know Ike's definitely improved by RD, but I have my doubts Zelgius could really improve much. He's basically at his peak.

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8 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

There isn't. Unlike other weapons across the series, nothing stops anyone from using Ragnell. The story simply states Ike should use it and the game follows suit preventing you from removing it form his inventory; but it's never that he's the only one who can in the lore.
 

I see. I wonder how different the game would be if you could trade it to someone else. If the Ragnell was an S rank Sword that could be used by anyone with the weapon level to use it.

Quote

I believe that is a localization thing. The original Japanese script has the BK unable to use his full strength due to the warp powder. Regardless, he's certainly not fighting at full strength during his Ch27 fight with Ike.
 

Oh, I didn’t know that. But like you said, either way, he isn’t at full strength here.

Quote

Well, I still stand that, depending on Stefan's age, he might be more experienced and skilled with the blade than even the BK. If he's older than the BK, then likely. There's also the factor of branded strength. We know the branded can have different strengths, abilities, or powers depending on their laguz blood. We know Stefan has lion laguz blood, which are certainly high on the laguz hierarchy, with perhaps only the dragons above them. Meanwhile, I don't think we get an exact mention of the BK's. So hard to gauge on that front.

I read through some of the dialogue last night. I can’t find much concrete information about Stefan, but it seems to be implied that he’s quite old. He’s knows about a lot of stuff that most people don’t. He knows stuff that the Goddess Yune doesn’t even know. He seems to be highly experienced both in terms of how much he knows about the world and how much he knows about swordsmanship.

We do know that he has more experience than Ike, unless he just took a break in training for awhile. We don’t know for sure who is more experienced between Stefan and Zelgius but it seems to be Stefan.

In terms of skill. Well if stats are anything to go by, Zelgius has very high Skl but lower Spd. Stefan is faster but the Black Knight is much stronger, and they are both incredibly skilled swordsman.

Something else I found is that Dheginsea says that he has been around for a long time and that he knew the first branded. Who is the first branded? Is it a character we’re supposed to know about, or is the point that Dheginsea knew this person from a long time ago and it doesn’t matter who it is? I don’t think Sephiran is a branded? Also Dheginsea is referred to as ‘the most powerful being in the world’. Just an interesting statement.

Edit: Wait, did you imply that Zelgius is a branded too? I must have forgot about that. It wouldn’t seem to tell us much though without more specifics.

7 hours ago, Soul >8] said:

If he's at least significantly stronger than Ike in PoR, I wouldn't be surprised if he was at least relative to BK and Ike by the end of the game. We know Ike's definitely improved by RD, but I have my doubts Zelgius could really improve much. He's basically at his peak.

Zelgius doesn’t need to have improved. He wasn’t at full strength when Ike fights him in POR. In POR I think that both Stefan and Zelgius are better than Ike. By the end of RD, Ike has surpassed Zelgius and is stated to be as strong as Greil was in his prime. Stefan doesn’t have much dialogue in RD, except for when he demonstrates greater knowledge than a Goddess. He might be about equal with Zelgius, but it’s hard to say. Even when Ike surpasses Zelgius I don’t think the gap between them is very large. Zelgius is still an incredible swordsman too.

Out of the three of them, I think that they all use different styles. Stefan doesn’t wear as much armour and instead relies on greater mobility, as shown by his lower Def stat but higher Spd stat. The Black Knight is famous for his armour, and while he is still fast, he is not as fast as Ike or Stefan, but he does have the highest Def. Ike is in between the two in both stats and in the amount of armour we can see them wearing in their models and artwork. Both Ike and Zelgius are very strong, more so than Stefan, and all three of them have very high skill in both story and stat wise.

We could also examine their skills. Ike has Aether. Zelgius has Black Luna, and Stefan has Astra. This is another difference in styles. All three of them have mastered very powerful and advanced skills but they all have have very different effects. This sort of reflects the same difference in their styles as their stats too. Stefan, being he fastest, is the one that uses a skill that strikes 5 times. The Black Knight, perhaps feeling that the best strategy is to rely on powerful armour, has mastered a skill to pierce through his opponent’s armour. And Ike’s skill is again in the middle. He strikes twice, ignoring part of his opponent’s armour. 

Edited by Whisky

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3 hours ago, Whisky said:

I read through some of the dialogue last night. I can’t find much concrete information about Stefan, but it seems to be implied that he’s quite old. He’s knows about a lot of stuff that most people don’t. He knows stuff that the Goddess Yune doesn’t even know. He seems to be highly experienced both in terms of how much he knows about the world and how much he knows about swordsmanship.

We do know that he has more experience than Ike, unless he just took a break in training for awhile. We don’t know for sure who is more experienced between Stefan and Zelgius but it seems to be Stefan.

In terms of skill. Well if stats are anything to go by, Zelgius has very high Skl but lower Spd. Stefan is faster but the Black Knight is much stronger, and they are both incredibly skilled swordsman.

Something else I found is that Dheginsea says that he has been around for a long time and that he knew the first branded. Who is the first branded? Is it a character we’re supposed to know about, or is the point that Dheginsea knew this person from a long time ago and it doesn’t matter who it is? I don’t think Sephiran is a branded? Also Dheginsea is referred to as ‘the most powerful being in the world’. Just an interesting statement.

Edit: Wait, did you imply that Zelgius is a branded too? I must have forgot about that. It wouldn’t seem to tell us much though without more specifics.

If what Yune doesn't know is with things regarding the branded, that doesn't really count. It was made up after she was sealed and deliberately spread, so it's something everyone knows but her.

If we bring in-game stats into the equation, Stefan can still match him in Skl in just a few levels.

Sephiran was the first branded.

Well, when you can live for hundreds and hundreds of years, you certainly have the time to become the most powerful being in the world, heh.

Yes, Zelgius is a branded. Though yeah, we're not told much. We do get a CG image of his brand, from which people have tried to figure out from which laguz tribe it comes from. I think one theory is that it's from the bird tribes, raven to be exact, to explain his high speed stat in despite of being, well, clad in heavy armor.

 

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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46 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

If what Yune doesn't know is with things regarding the branded, that doesn't really count. It was made up after she was sealed and deliberately spread, so it's something everyone knows but her.

If we bring in-game stats into the equation, Stefan can still match him in Skl in just a few levels.

Sephiran was the first branded.

Well, when you can live for hundreds and hundreds of years, you certainly have the time to become the most powerful being in the world, heh.

Yes, Zelgius is a branded. Though yeah, we're not told much. We do get a CG image of his brand, from which people have tried to figure out from which laguz tribe it comes from.

 

Hello.

Spoiler

Sephiran was never a branded but a laguz (black heron). As far as i remember, the first branded was his daughter (meshua). This shows up in a base convo after defeating deghinsea (and to obtain that, Nasir and the other retainer whose name i dont remember must be kept alive).

There had been other unions between beorc and laguz, but until Altina's pregnancy, no children had ever been conceived. Indeed, hers was the first child ever to be born of beorc and laguz."- Nasir

 

Edited by NicolaTesla&you

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6 minutes ago, NicolaTesla&you said:

Hello.

  Hide contents

Sephiran was never a branded but a laguz (black heron). As far as i remember, the first branded was her daughter (meshua). This shows up in a base convo after defeating deghinsea (and to obtain that, Nasir and the other retainer whose name i dont remember must be keep alive).

There had been other unions between beorc and laguz, but until Altina's pregnancy, no children had ever been conceived. Indeed, hers was the first child ever to be born of beorc and laguz."- Nasir

 

Right, mixed up the terms there. Laguz that loose their powers that way more or less become like-but-not-quite-so the branded. Kinda like the opposite of branded, to be more exact.

I've played the game several times, I remember that.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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RD Ike in part 4, after being blessed by Yune, should have no problem beating Stefan. Same goes for Zelgius.

However, PoR!Ike is still a rookie and only barely beat a weaker version of the Black Knight so I think Stefan is stronger than the BK Ike fought along with Ike himself. 

I wonder whether RD!Ike in part 3 can beat Stefan or not. Considering Stefan is a tier 3 trueblade, he is stronger stat wise and class wise than Ike but I don't know how it translates in terms of story. 

In summary, Part 4 Ike>Zelgius>Stefan>Part 3 Ike>PoR Ike. 

Edited by Icelerate

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Stefan trains Ike during the Begnion arc so he at least holds seniority over him. I suppose technically he's training with Ike but he seems to be the senior swordsmen in that arrangement and Ike learning a move from it suggest he was very much learning things from it. 

However Stefan likely isn't as strong as the Black Knight so Ike will likely have surpassed him in RD. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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On 2/22/2020 at 9:06 AM, Acacia Sgt said:

If what Yune doesn't know is with things regarding the branded, that doesn't really count. It was made up after she was sealed and deliberately spread, so it's something everyone knows but her.

Oh I see. Still, Stefan clearly knows more about the subject than most people. Not everyone knows much about the branded. The branded are mostly misunderstood by everyone. That knowledge could come from the fact that he himself is a branded and not from him having a great deal of experience of though.

On 2/22/2020 at 9:06 AM, Acacia Sgt said:

If we bring in-game stats into the equation, Stefan can still match him in Skl in just a few levels.
 

I meant that all of them are incredibly skilled swordsman. The Black Knight is stronger. Stefan is faster. They are both incredibly skilled.

On 2/22/2020 at 9:06 AM, Acacia Sgt said:

Sephiran was the first branded.

Well, when you can live for hundreds and hundreds of years, you certainly have the time to become the most powerful being in the world, heh.
 

 

On 2/22/2020 at 9:06 AM, Acacia Sgt said:

Yes, Zelgius is a branded. Though yeah, we're not told much. We do get a CG image of his brand, from which people have tried to figure out from which laguz tribe it comes from. I think one theory is that it's from the bird tribes, raven to be exact, to explain his high speed stat in despite of being, well, clad in heavy armor.

 

He has a relatively high Spd stat for being in such large armour. Ranulf says that he moves very fast for being in armour, and he is relatively fast. Obviously a Spd stat of 30 is very high. But he is still slower than Ike, so I’m not sure if that theory makes sense.

 

On 2/22/2020 at 10:26 PM, Icelerate said:

RD Ike in part 4, after being blessed by Yune, should have no problem beating Stefan. Same goes for Zelgius.

However, PoR!Ike is still a rookie and only barely beat a weaker version of the Black Knight so I think Stefan is stronger than the BK Ike fought along with Ike himself. 

I wonder whether RD!Ike in part 3 can beat Stefan or not. Considering Stefan is a tier 3 trueblade, he is stronger stat wise and class wise than Ike but I don't know how it translates in terms of story. 

In summary, Part 4 Ike>Zelgius>Stefan>Part 3 Ike>PoR Ike. 

That all makes sense to me. I agree with you, but why do you think that Part 4 Ike would have no problem beating Stefan? I think it makes sense, but I don’t think there’s really any evidence for it in the game?

 

22 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Stefan trains Ike during the Begnion arc so he at least holds seniority over him. I suppose technically he's training with Ike but he seems to be the senior swordsmen in that arrangement and Ike learning a move from it suggest he was very much learning things from it. 

However Stefan likely isn't as strong as the Black Knight so Ike will likely have surpassed him in RD. 

Stefan is definitely a senior swordsman to Ike in POR. How close Stefan comes to the Black Knights level is the question. I don’t think there is enough evidence in game to come to a conclusion. There isn’t much dialogue about Stefan. The story is more about Ike, not about Stefan so we don’t get a comparison between Stefan and the Black Knight. It’s easy to assume that he wouldn’t be able to beat the Black Knight because of how strong the Black Knight is shown to be in the story,  but I don’t think there is actually evidence for that in the game. Stefan is an incredibly skilled swordsman too. A couple posts ago, I showed how they use different styles.

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