Nothing beats the destructive power of a sword; slashing away at the opponent’s life. It’s no wonder that people always want to find a way to make the sword even mightier, as some people penned up the idea that you need to mix swords with magic. Adding a pinch of the arcane, or the occult, suddenly you don’t just have a weapon to be wielded by the capable hands of a warrior. No, you’ve created something much more dangerous… You’ve created a weapon capable of destroying countless lives, devouring souls, splitting time and more.
Interested? You’d better be as these are our Top 10 Magical Swords.
10) Kring – Colour of Magic
The sword Kring was last seen in the hands of the greatest hero the Discworld has ever known, Rincewind the Wizzard, the coward, the vessel of one of the spells of creation, the librarian’s assistant. A philosophy of fear equating survival with boredom, suddenly in possession of the most homicidal length of steel on the disc! Kring is sentient, bloodthirsty, and barely needs much more than a sack of muscle and bone to keep it off the ground to create the greatest swordsman who lives.
It’s also incredibly talkative, and will gladly ignore your pleas for silence to tell you all about how it got every nick, stain, and fray, and share all of the stories of the famous people it has killed, and how you’re definitely not worthy of wielding it compared to former masters – or at least that’s how the conversation goes with Rincewind. For a direct pastiche, see the Sword of Fighting in Journey Quest.
9) The Power Sword – He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
80’s fans, you can rest easy knowing that the power of Greyskull had to make its way to this list. We very nearly didn’t put this one in, however after a lot of thought about the potential of The Power Sword, it’s clear that we had to put this in on our list. Furthermore, it’s the only sword on this list that forces someone to spew out a catchphrase when they go to use it. Yeah, now that is a unique magical ability.
Alright, all jokes aside, The Power Sword is infamous for the its origins. It’s actually Skeletor who wants to piece The Power Sword back together again, as it’s in two parts to begin with. Prince Adam always goes on to stop Skeletor. Later down the line, Prince Adam gets ahold of The Power Sword, to finally obtain the power to transform into the mighty He-Man. All in all, without this sword, we wouldn’t have He-Man as we know it!
8) Tessaiga – Inuyasha
The Sword of Destruction Tessaiga, counterpart of the Tenseiga, is Inuyasha’s main weapon of choice. Whilst the lovable dog demon holds Tessaiga, his brother holds Tenseiga and the two are always at arms with one another. However we’re less concerned about the abilities of Sesshomaru’s blade and more with the powers of Tessaiga, which was made out of the tooth of their demonic father.
Tessaiga normally looks like a dull old blade, but in the hands of someone who cares about humans and possesses demonic energy, it transforms into a massive, powerful sword. As such, humans could never wield Tessaiga, but other demons who would care about humans absolutely could. Interestingly, the blade and his brother’s were once one, but his father split it into two so they could both have a part of the blade made out of his demonic tooth.
Both blades seem to possess a mind of their own. The Sword of Destruction and The Sword of Life.
7) Grass Sword – Adventure Time
Ok, let’s talk about the saga of the Grass Sword ~here the narrator inhales deeply~
Finn the Human, greatest hero in the land of Ooo, is cursed with an uncontrollable arm of grass which he eventually learns to control, and dismisses the notion of it being a curse, it’s a really good sword, and comes with some cool bonuses like regrowing his arm when he loses it. Due to a temporal paradox he also gets a sword made of himself which gets stolen, forcing him to fight with the grass sword which stabs the Finn sword and destroys it, leading to a bout of depression. After the grass-formed arm, imbued with the spirit of Finn the sword is torn clean off (and replaced by a mechanical arm) the grassy lump gains sentience, deludes itself into thinking it’s Finn, and in time becomes Fern, the grass version of Finn. Deep inside his head, the curse – in the shape of a stubby green squid – puppets a tiny facsimile of Finn birthed from the sword, and it drives Fern to madness, never quite allowing him to achieve the greatness of Finn the Human, and driving him to kill Finn and usurp his place…
Wow! That’s a story. Cool sword, now a person, always a curse, and one that has haunted Finn for over four seasons.
6) Stormbringer – The Eternal Hero
Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion wields the black blade Stormbringer, in truth, not even a sword. The blade is a demon, an agent of chaos that has manifested as a weapon that can cut anything not heavily enchanted. Souls taken by the blade are devoured by it, even a simple scratch is enough for the blade to slay its victim. Gods are not safe from the Black Blade, the runic blade that screams and howls in battle… occasionally heard to sing too.
Elric, Stormbringer, and the Eternal Champion series have been the inspiration to generations of fantasy writers. Blackrazor and Dragnipur are both born of Stormbringer, as are a smattering of others appearing in this list. Perhaps it is true that the Black Blade is bound to a destiny that outlives mere generations, becoming a legend that exceeds even its author.
+5) Holy Avenger – D&D
On the wishlist of every paladin is the Holy Avenger, the longsword that tears through undead and evil beings like a holy knife through evil butter, but with a +5 bonus to attack and damage rolls it’s a pretty aggressive toothpick. Now, there are a lot of better weapons, classics like Blackrazor, The Sword of Kas, even a decent Flametongue is a little more universally applicable, and practically anyone can pick it up and use it, but the Holy Avenger has something else going for it.
The +5 Holy Avenger above all others seem to have snuck into pop-cultures attention more than anything else, occasionally the name rears its head in memes, amongst its most famous name-drops is in a famous scene in Family Guy (well, famous among the D&D crowd) where Louis chastises Peter for thinking a paladin could ever use the Helm of Disintegration. It’s an odd moment that demonstrates a combination of extreme knowledge of the game, couched in some very misinformed rules discussion. It’s besides the point though, +5 Holy Avenger get’s the +5 slot.
4) The Umbra Sword/Umbra – The Elder Scrolls
Originally, this spot was reserved for Dawnbreaker. Then, we remembered the Obsidian Sword. Finally, we found the Umbra Sword and we both just spat coffee everywhere. Not really, but honestly, when we read into this thing, we were both absolutely shocked. I can’t even remember finding this one, but admittedly, this was from Oblivion/Morrowind and my last Elder Scrolls game was Skyrim.
Indeed, the Umbra Sword then is amusingly a Daedric weapon, but not considered a Daedric Artifact. It’s the sword of Clavicus Vile, which has the highest power of any one-handed sword in Oblivion. The sword harbours the soul of someone who crossed Clavicus, but it’s also sentient in its own right. It’s said that the sword ended up attacking Clavicus, running away (because that’s a common image) and ended up powering the city of Umbriel to attack many other mortal cities, including Morrowind, Stormhold and the Black Marsh.
And to think, you are the reason Clavicus could potentially get it back.
3) The Master Sword – The Legend of Zelda
One of the more iconic entries on this week’s list, The Master Sword has been seen in various incarnations since the 80’s. But there’s always been one constant when it comes to The Master Sword: Its power. The Master Sword is renowned for its power and the fact that it’s considered to be magical. After all, this is the sword that has been known to lock Ganon away and keep the realm of Hyrule safe.
Originally the sword was created by the goddess Hylia to defeat and seal away the demon king Demise. Now, the sword has become synonymous with the power to seal Ganon or Ganondorf away once they have obtained the Triforce. It’s the only sword with the power to defeat them, so when the time calls for it, the Hero of Time will have to take the mantle, approach the sword and wield it, in order to keep the peace of the land.
The Soul Reaver vs Frostmourne
Two powerful magical blades, only one can remain. You choose which is your Top Magical Sword. Joel’s cut out for The Soul Reaver and Timlah’s swinging for Frostmourne. Who will win?!
=1) The Soul Reaver – The Legacy of Kain
Kain wields the physical manifestation of the skull-hilted flamberge, while his first lieutenant has its spirit-forged half bound forever to his side. The blade of metal is the perfect weapon for a king of vampires, as it drinks blood to empower its incredible energy manipulation abilities, but once it drank the soul of Raziel it not only gained the ability to feast upon the souls of any mortal, as well as carve through time itself.
Being both metal and spectre, it is the only think capable of wounding an Elder God that occupies both physical and spiritual realms equally. Perhaps the only thing it cannot kill is itself, Kain swung the blade at Raziel and it shattered, the soul escaping to inhabit Raziels body, beginning an arc that would lead him back in time to impale himself upon the blade, delivering his soul to the blade so that it could eventually…. oh dear, time travel. In short this is a weapon that has been everywhere, killed gods, exists across worlds, and time, and beyond the veil of death.
=1) Frostmourne – Warcraft
“Frostmourne hungers!” – Arthas Menethil
If you look through the lore of Warcraft, there has been one constant throughout: The unyielding power of the undead scourge. Led by a vicious ruler known as The Lich King, Frostmourne is a blade wielded by the champion whom would take the rulers mantle… Or at least it’s helmet. Frostmourne is a blade so powerful that it’s said to speak to its wielder, to guide them. This is exactly what happened to Arthas Menethil.
Arthas was once a noble paladin, a holy man. However, his drive and lust for revenge saw him go from a noble man, to the most dangerous Death Knight of all. It’s due to the influence of Ner’zhul that those who wield the blade lose control of their soul, becoming nothing more than a pawn for the Lich King. Once Arthas had held his end of the bargain, killing Mal’ganis, he slew his own army, turning them into undead scourge. This is when he set back to slay everyone back at Lordaeron, letting the scourge be set loose after killing his own father.
Frostmourne might not necessarily be the most powerful weapon here, however the real power is that of the soul-draining effect it bares on the wielder. There is perhaps no greater example of what happened to Arthas than the end of the Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion for World of Warcraft. Arthas, upon his defeat, was able to reclaim a bit of his humanity for one last time… But… The Lich King forever lived on, through the cursed armour and the power of Frostmourne. It still hungers for more souls, even following Arthas’ defeat.
Alright, so our honourable mentions this week are deeply concerned with not being magical… Unless you look at things from a different angle. So both of our next two could be considered magical, depending on how you view it. Open your mind to a different interpretation!
Gunblade – Final Fantasy VIII
Falling into our technicalities, the Gunblade is really a blade that has a mechanical trigger, allowing Squall Leonhart to fire out a bullet. At least, you’d think it’d be a bullet, but instead the gun part of the gunblade fires out a shockwave discharge, which can cause extra damage after the slash of the powerful sword. From a lot of research, it’s hard to decipher kind of how the Gunblade does this, so we figured “eh, that’s kinda magical!”
We couldn’t put it into the list, as we know this is meant to be a sci-fi blade, which combines blade and gun. But, because we couldn’t really explain why on Gaia it sends off a shockwave, rather than a bullet, but in an animation it fires a bullet, it’s got to be magic, right? Well, no, it’s clearly just futuristic technology. But we can’t explain it, so we’re shoving it here in the honourable mentions list.
It’s never formally attributed with magical powers, but the sword of Arthurian legend and badge of office entitling one to the throne of England holds an importance in legend that makes it mythic in its own right. Plenty of fantasy interpretations have given it magical powers, and of course the original legend is bound to one of the most famous names in wizardry, Merlin. The sword is simply very tough, and fraught with importance.
The mysticism around the sword, the legends, and the reimaginations that surround the ancient blade, as well as its many many cameos in fantasy RPGs, sci-fi RPGs, and being central in a vast array of films and novels, and one canadian CGI series I remember enjoying when I was younger, it couldn’t go by without a mention. An honourable one at that. It’s story begins in the twelfth century you know.
That’s it, we can now sheath our weapons. Put the swords down folks, we’ve cut through enough of these weapons. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our penned down thoughts, but because these blades are so mighty, we’ve gone straight to the point. Slash away at all of these puns to realise we’re just trying (and probably failing) to make you laugh… Anyway, help us decide what our topic for next week should be, as we’re looking for a tip.
That’s it for another week’s Top 10, thank you so much for joining us. However, we now must turn to you. What do you think of our list this week? Did we include all of the good magical swords, or did we forget one? Was our order completely wrong? Which of our top spots won it for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.
Hey, you’re still here? Well, do you wanna get involved with these Top 10’s like Kevin did last week? Drop us a line and we’ll chat about how you can get involved in helping us decide these!