**Spoilers for Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night**
Masters in Fate/Stay Night
|Ilyasviel von Einsbern||Female|
Masters in Fate/Zero
- Two masters who had no idea the Holy Grail War existed
- One master with no magical aptitude
- Two competently trained mages who are too young to max out their potential
- One master who is also a servant
- One master in his prime intentionally fighting in the Holy Grail War
- One master who had no idea the Holy Grail War existed
- One master with some magical aptitude and a year of getting violated by magical phallic worms
- One competently trained mage who is too young to max out his potential
- Five masters in their prime intentionally fighting in the Holy Grail War
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.