**Spoilers for Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night**
|Ilyasviel von Einsbern||Female|
For all intents and purposes you could count Irisviel as a sixth. This is why Fate/Zero beats Fate/Stay Night. We’re seeing battles between no-nonsense, first-class mages instead of deer-in-the-headlights kids. Throw any of the top masters from Fate/Zero into Fate/Stay Night and you have an odds-on finalist. Credit the male cast in particular, which shirks the Type-Moon tradition of comprising clueless boys and disfigured faces of evil.
I wasn’t going to count the servants, as they’re expected to be competent, but incompetent masters limit their servants’ potential. Saber is weaker in Fate/Stay Night because Shirou’s a bumbling sexist. Rider is weaker because Shinji’s worthless bitch. Archer is weaker because Rin screwed up the summoning. Assassin is weaker by the very nature of his summoning. This shit doesn’t happen in Fate/Zero.