James wrote:Looking at it from an age perspective it is worth mentioning another favorite of people: Zhao Yun. It is fun to imagine how he might have faired should he have squared off with Lü Bu.
Eh, I don't know. Most of Zhao Yun's documented kills (even in the novel) weren't from duels, they were from him jumping out of nowhere and stabbing them before they could defend themselves (Qu Yi, Gao Lan, and Xing Daorong [sp?] to name a few). His only duels after that came with the fight against Jiang Wei and Han De (accompanied by his four sons). The fight with Jiang Wei is a non issue, as Zhao Yun's skill could very possibly have gotten worse. The four sons, as well, were not touted as skilled duelists, so could have been sons of a general who didn't know what they were doing (and with how they died in the novel, I'm going with that).
Because of that, I never looked at Zhao Yun as a 90's deserving warrior. 86, in my book, but that's talking stats...
I just realized you could also try to rate him with his Chang Ban run. This, however, is not a way to rate dueling skill at all. Certainly, one uses different tactics against 5 people than against 1. Plus, Zhao Yun had a sword that "cut through armor like wet mud". If we compare this to a similar warrior with a similar feat, we end up with...
Dian Wei. However, consider the change in circumstance. Dian Wei was half drunk, and fought only with a common sword. He was also naked, and eventually had to defend himself with his own hands, using the bodies of the fallen to fell more enemies. Had Dian Wei been in posession of a sword that could cut through armor like Zhao Yun's did, I have no doubt that he'd fair better than the young warrior ever could.
Now, Dian Wei dueled Lu Bu as well. When Xu Zhu was in trouble. The two, together, though, could not overcome Lu Bu.
So, we have a warrior who couldn't beat Lu Bu compared to a warrior who never got the chance to try. Dian Wei's feats, however, far outclass Zhao Yun's (in the subject of martial ability). Therefore, the comparison wouldn't add up, as I see it.