There’s a plethora of magnificent weapons across the Fate series, many unleashing devastating Noble Phantasms on opponents. However, no other quite reaches the legendary status of Saber’s crowned holy sword Excalibur. A part of what makes Saber, or Artoria Pendragon, such a Fate icon is the trusty saber by her side.
The Saber-class Servant wouldn’t be as much of a threat in the Holy Grail Wars without the majesty of Excalibur, a sword carrying the legacy of her other title: the great King Arthur. The blade embodies the wielder's spirit, imbuing each attack with a sense of heroism. The sword itself is a Noble Phantasm with remarkable capability, considered the greatest of all in speed and attack power. Here’s a close look into Excalibur’s divine origins, magical capability, and proven accomplishments.
The famous Fate sword’s full title is Excalibur: Sword of Promised Victory and stands as one of the ultimate Divine Constructs -- armaments created by non-human hands, or gods. Such artifacts are extraordinarily rare and commonly hold the power of a Noble Phantasm. Excalibur is easily the strongest holy sword with a “Last Phantasm,” which formed as the planet crystalized the wishes of humankind within itself.
As a product of the inner sea, the sword is said to be most powerful against those who wish to harm the planet. Sacred to the earth, Excalibur is exalted as a “crystal trained by the heart alone.” Although it’s a product of the universe's higher powers, its true power was cultivated by humans. In other words, the blade is filled with the glory and dreams of all humanity.
One of the fairies (guardians of the planet) named the Lady of the Lake eventually entrusted the sword to King Arthur (Saber). This is not to be confused with her first sword, Caliburn, the symbol of the King. Caliburn was the sword Saber pulled from the stone, thus fulfilling its engraved prophecy and making her the “rightwise King of all England.” Though similar in look and radiant abilities, Excalibur is more powerful -- Caliburn is fancifully adorned and eventually broke in battle. There’s some debate about whether or not Excalibur was reforged with Caliburn’s shattered remains, but the Divine Construct is inarguably and significantly superior.
Excalibur's power source could be called a “directed energy weapon” because it channels a magic supply into a beam of light from the sword's point. Driven with such valiance, it's managed to take down some intensely formidable forces.
One such enemy is the Gigantic Horror, an evil god summoned by Caster in Fate/Zero. Though this foe had instant regeneration, rendering most attacks futile, Saber was able to incinerate the being with Excalibur, destroying every atom of its flesh. She later finishes off Caster himself with the sword as well. As demonstrated in Fate/hollow ataraxia, Excalibur has the ability to obliterate entire legions of monsters in a fatal blow. The remarkably powerful attacks have vanquished many others, but there's a catch: the more intense the strike, the more it drains Saber’s mana and weakens her.
Another unforgettable moment was when Saber utilized Excalibur’s magnificence to destroy the Holy Grail, its vessel, and contents in Fate/Zero and once again in Fate/Stay Night. While this destruction may have had dire repercussions on the earth, it still goes to show how kingly Excalibur truly is.