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Saber is one of the main characters of Fate/Zero and one of the three main heroines of Fate/stay night.

She is the Saber-class Servant of Kiritsugu Emiya in the Fourth Holy Grail War and Shirou Emiya in the Fifth Holy Grail War.

She is the Servant of Norma Goodfellow (possessed by Manaka Sajyou) in the Holy Grail War of Fate/Labyrinth.

She is one of the Servants of Ritsuka Fujimaru of the Grand Orders conflicts of Fate/Grand Order.

In the AWA fics, Saber is a student at the AWA Academy and is part of Class 4.

Appearance

Saber has the appearance of a young woman in her late teens with a slender physique, soft skin, and green eyes. She has "finely textured" blonde hair that seems "as if sprinkled with gold dust." Her face shows some signs of naivety and displays elegance. She is more muscular than someone like Rin, leading her to believe her body is unappealing, but Shirou believes her to be very feminine. She normally wears shining armor with an old styled dress, made from old-fashioned blue cloth, underneath. She is actually older than her appearance would show, as her body did not age from the moment she pulled Caliburn from the stone to the time of her death. Shirou sees her as being a few years younger, and the age of her body is probably a year younger than him. Though she lived as a man most of her life, Shirou and Rin describe her as beautiful instantly upon seeing her. Despite her armor being unrefined and unaesthetic, Shirou describes Saber as being beautiful enough to make the steel clanking of her armor seem like the chiming of a bell.

Due to her inability to dematerialize, she needs to wear modern clothing in order to travel in public. Though she can wear her own dress when not in battle, she needs modern clothing to keep from standing out. With the ability to control the materialization of her armor, she can be ready for battle instantly and return to normal without damaging the clothing. During the Fourth Holy Grail War, Irisviel decides to match Saber's clothing with her own appearance by dressing her as a man. During the Fifth Holy Grail War, Rin Tohsaka prepares clothes for Saber, a blue, knee-length skirt (with tights) and white shirt (with a blue string tie), and brown boots originally a birthday present to Rin from Kirei Kotomine.

Personality

Saber is a strong-willed young woman who always speaks truthfully. She is courageous, determined, and set on winning the Holy Grail. She constantly insists that she is a knight and king above all, and that her gender is of little importance to her and her role. She is resolute in following her own morals, regardless of more the more viable, yet underhand, tactics being available. Saber prefers direct, fair confrontations based upon codes of chivalry. Not even her hunger for the Holy Grail can make her abandon her code of honor. This leads to regular conflicts with Kiritsugu over strategy within the Fourth Holy Grail War. While obtaining the Holy Grail is of the utmost importance, rejecting her chivalry is something she will never do, even if it should put her at a disadvantage. If such came to pass, she coldly replies that her master must use a Command Seal as recompense for treading upon her heart. When a master respects Saber's own rules, they tend to do very well with Saber, such as Irisviel being closer to Saber than her true master, Kiritsugu, is.

Saber's identity as both a "human" and a "king" is one of the greatest struggles of her character throughout the Fourth and Fifth Holy Grail Wars. When she is first summoned to the Grail Wars of Fate/zero and Fate/stay night, she doesn't like to be treated as a woman, or even as a human, due to her status as a knight and a Servant. She tries to keep the notion that she is only a Servant, a tool for her Master, first and foremost in her mind. A normally quiet and reserved young knight even begins to raise her voice in defense of this non-human identity. This focus is so extreme that she has no obvious reaction to being walked-in on by Shirou as she was naked, not understanding, or perhaps ignoring, his flustered response. She slowly becomes more aware of herself as a girl after her bonds with Shirou and Rin develop, and later realizes and displays her true embarrassment at such a situation when it is accidentally repeated with another walk-in. Despite being granted knowledge of the modern world upon being summoned, Saber also shows some signs of being a 'fish-out-of-water' in many social situations due to her strong disconnect from her humanity in her past and lack of interaction with others her age and social status. She was unaware of the innuendo of the phrase 'between my legs' and didn't understand why Irisviel was giggling afterwards. She's also unaware of what a date is, as the Grail doesn't give data on minor modern social structure and phrasing, and only understands when Rin translates the word for her. Due to conducting herself as an untouchable king at all times her in past, she is unfamiliar with affection or flirting from others. Notably, she is sexually inexperienced as a woman, but seems knowledgeable about a man's sexual experiences nevertheless. Once Saber "allows" herself to become more self-aware of herself as a girl, Saber becomes very obviously self-conscious of her body and hides it, remarking it "unsightly", and makes conscious efforts to stay out of the center of attention. On the flip side, she is also more aware of others' physical appearances, envying the voluptuous Rider. These experiences of womanhood were, initially, incorrectly viewed by both Saber and Shirou to be a complete contradiction to her identity as the king of knights. This causes much strife between them, and internally, for Saber. Through careful self-exploration and support from those around her, Saber finds the answer for herself: that she is allowed to be happy as a woman; that she does not need to punish herself, locking that part of herself away, since she "failed" Britain; and that she is a capable, respectable woman-king of Britain all the same. This accumulates in Saber accepting Shirou's love, and her declaration to herself and Gilgamesh that she will always be "a king before a woman", but a woman king all the same. In Realta Nua, Saber journeys to Avalon and lives as this person she wishes to be. In Fate/hollow ataraxia, Saber acts to refine that womanhood and femininity among her peers, and Sakura and Taiga help her with this when they go shopping together.

Saber is loyal, independent, and reserved. She appears cold, but is usually suppressing her emotions to focus on her goals. She is bewildered by Shirou's "protective" tendencies, and believes his over-valuing of her humanity jeopardizes her chances of winning the Holy Grail War. However, Saber is secretly deeply insecure, having no real sense of self-worth. As she was born and raised to be a king in service of her country, she has no sense of self-worth past that, and can only feel fulfilled by serving other people. Shirou realizes from his dreams of her past that, even though she is a supremely skilled warrior, she would be happier if she didn't have to fight at all. Throughout her rule, she was plagued by self-doubt about being a worthy king, and eventually came to hate herself for not meeting the impossible standards she set for herself. She feels deep guilt over the eventual destruction of her kingdom, holding herself solely responsible and calling herself an inadequate ruler. When she was shown her death before pulling Caliburn, Saber accepted that she'd die alone being ostracized by everyone due to her taking many lives. However, even though she accepted that, she was horrified to find the reality of it would be that her kingdom would destroyed alongside her in the bloody Battle of Camlann Hill. She understood, as Merlin told her, that Britain would fall, but she wanted to believe its end would more peaceful like a slumber. As a result of these factors, her wish for much of the Fourth and Fifth Holy Grail Wars is to completely undo her rule so that someone more suitable can take her place in order to give Britain a peaceful end. Rider and Shirou both chastise her for this, saying that to undo her rule would be an insult to all those who died in her name, or that she is selfish for wanting to redo the past merely because she didn't like the result.

For the most part, Saber is a serious person who fully devotes herself whatever task she's given. This can especially true when it comes to competition, since she's sore loser, though truthfully her soreness is directed at her own weakness. Saber, normally over-sensitive to others' feelings, can become obstinate at her worst. She can spend hours on a single task that she doesn't feel satisfied with, such as forcing Rin and Shirou to keep letting her play baseball because she is losing way past the time scheduled. Her devotion to her kingly duty, however, is obviously greater than any poor sportsmanship. Her fanatic lock-on to this "duty" can disturb others, who see her denying herself of everything for the sake of this duty. This zealotry causes her to be so stubborn in completing her duty that she ignores, rejects, and/or actively fights against others' opinions in a desperate attempt for validation. This is most obvious in her fights with Shirou about her past. This tendency to fight against others who she disagrees with is compounded by how Saber is unable to ignore what others say, even the smallest of words or actions. She cares greatly about others' opinions, and their disagreement hurts her greatly; her brother, Kay, compares her heart to a reed in that respect. If the other party is, instead, making a transgression against her, she is extremely ready to fight, even physically, anyone for that perceived insult. This most often includes Shirou, in a great variety of situations, both serious and light. Shirou implying that Saber is a human, and not a Servant, is immediately cornered verbally by Saber. At another time, Shirou is knocked unconscious for teasing her for playing with her lion plushy in Fate/hollow ataraxia

Underneath her serious exterior that she feels forced to hold, Saber shows herself to be a kind-hearted and gentle person who wishes to protect those she cares about. She is perceptive when it comes to the others' feelings and their troubles, almost dangerously so when combined with her low self-worth and habit to overthink. This is best demonstrated in a positive way when she purposely forfeited a competition of best little sister to Illya when she saw her frustration at losing by pretending to overwhelmed by Illya's "sister force", even convincing Sakura (another competitor) to join her. Her ability to perceive others' troubles also made her reckless in her pursuit to save others during her training with Caliburn, for which she was scolded many times by Kay. Saber greatly enjoys seeing the happiness of others, even though she doesn't wish any happiness for herself. This trait is a cause of great concern to those who care about her, believe she should obtain her own happiness. Saber herself believes she doesn't deserves happiness due to her self-perceived failure as king. She rarely smiles for herself but smiles for others upon seeing their happiness and safety. During her reign, she never laughed once, with the last time being during her training with Caliburn. She is still very capable of laughing, such as when she giggled at Shirou's joke about Rin wanting to use the Grail to rule the world. Her kind heart can also extend to her enemies, such as while identifying the Saxons as her enemies, she didn't see them as evil. Rather, she understood they sought Britain for a land to call home, believing their aspiration to be inherently good. During her younger days, Saber loved to take care of horses, which surprised Kay when she used them in battle, despite her love for them. But, to her, a horse dying in battle is a different sin than a soldier dying, as a soldier knows why they're on the battlefield, while a horse does not. This kind-hearted facet of Saber is seen as her true self for it is a person free from unhealthy, inhuman expectations - Shirou sees it as a Saber who no longer needs to fight. When Saber does not feel as though she needs to be inhumanly strong, she is less argumentative and confrontational, for these are traits she developed to make up for her inability to meet her impossible goals.

Though she once felt more linked to dragons due to her unique birth, she came to enjoy lions after taking care of a lion cub for a month at some point in her life. She claims that it is not that she "likes" them, but rather the happiness she experienced as he became attached to her brought forth a bond with them. The lion cub in her past was very energetic, often biting or scratching, but she wished to be able to stay with him until the end. She has had feelings for lions since then and remembers these fond memories while holding stuffed lions. Shirou, seeing the memory of her rubbing her cheek against the lion, comments on it being a special time where she truly looks like a girl her age.

She is shown to have a voracious appetite, finishing large servings of rice within one minute. Although she can normally eat anything, Shirou's food education is what awoke her gourmet spirit. She originally did not appreciate modern food, as she doesn't actually need to eat as a Servant, and because she had believed that all food was simple. She had very bad experiences with the food in her time, due to being limited to meals like large quantities of potatoes, vinegar, bread, and ale, or even at times simply eating vegetables alone in times of need. She did not concern herself with food much in her life and allowed her cooks to do as they wished. She felt those dishes were unrefined, although she was not displeased by them. She shudders at the thought of eating the food of her era once introduced to Shirou's cooking. She thought it had been made to suit the tastes of the knights, because they acknowledged it as tasting good, but they simply were unable to say it was bad to the King's face. Gawain was an exception, and enjoyed the meals, not noticing the others' distaste for it.

Abilities

The Saber class is considered the "Most Outstanding" due to its excellent ratings in all categories, and Saber doesn't fall short of that reputation. She is left very underpowered for the majority of the Fifth Holy Grail War due to Shirou's extremely bad aptitude and being unable to provide her with mana due to his Magical Paths being obstructed. She is not able to achieve the power she had during life, so she cannot be said to have the abilities of the greatest Servant in that state. She is stronger under Kiritsugu, but her luck is decreased since even Kiritsugu still could not provide sufficient Magical Energy, as a result the status was affected by the Master's way of life. After she forms a proper contract with Rin, she displays her original abilities without being affected by the Master. She can barely keep up with Berserker using all of her strength while weakened, but Shirou believes that not even he would be able to stand against her at full strength. She is also strengthened under Caster, but doesn't display it due to being incapacitated by the Command Spell.

Unlike other Heroic Spirits who can fit under multiple classes, she claims that she is only suited to the Saber class. Mordred, when told that Lancer and Rider are powerful Heroic Spirits without being given their identities, considers the possibility of her having been summoned under those classes. She could possibly have the capacity to qualify for the Caster class, but "magecraft is not the way of the King" and she lacks the patience to actually learn magecraft. If she were to be summoned in western Europe, she would receive a general boost in power similar to other European Heroic Spirits, and she would display a much sharper increase in power in England.

Combat

She is extremely skilled with a sword. Even unarmed and faced with a surprise attack from Taiga, said to be an unmatched kendo expert, Saber is able to easily disarm her without even taking a stance. She takes up teaching Shirou, but only focuses on giving him as much battle experience as possible because she does not have an aptitude for teaching others. While her ability as a swordsman is proficient, it is not where her true strength lies, but rather her enormous amount of magical energy. She believes that there is no Servant that surpasses her in close combat, and she is certain that she can clear an escape route from the battlefield under any disadvantageous situation.

Her initial Noble Phantasm is always Invisible Air, allowing her to hide her identity and main weapon, Excalibur, while also confusing opponents with an invisible sword. She can also release it in a large blast of air and cover other objects with it. She eventually releases Excalibur when necessary, allowing her to unleash a large slash of light capable of wiping out almost anything it its path. She lost Avalon in life, but the genuine article still exists in the present. While it is kept from her during the Fourth Holy Grail War, it is returned during the Fate route of the Fifth War, giving her more energy and allowing her defend against any attack in combat. She also lost Caliburn in the past, and while she can no longer use it, she is able to make use of Shirou's projection to slay Berserker.

Saber utilizes armor woven by her magical energy and it can be called part of her body, so it can be called forth for battle and dismissed for normal interactions. It is heavy, hard silver-white and azure armor including gauntlets, greaves, a breastplate, and long tassets shaped like a skirt that act as impregnable defenses made from magical energy overpowering others. She has to will it away manually and it doesn't fade when she is unconscious, so Rin is able to remove it from her like it is normal armor. While she normally wears a casual outfit, removing her armor during battle leaves her with a blue dress that she wears under it. Being made from her energy, it is weak against abilities that target magical energy like Gae Dearg.

It cannot be permanently damaged no matter how much it is slashed, chipped, or smashed, as she can instantly repair it with her own energy. It costs a great deal to protect herself by forming, maintaining, and repairing it, so she may have to forgo healing her body to repair the armor. Maintaining her armor is the same as maintaining her body, so she keeps it off when possible to preserve her dwindling power. The cost of doing so in battle can be deadly, but it can also grant her a boost in power that proves greater than the handicap of losing it. She can dismiss it simply by cutting off the magical energy supplied to it, causing it to fade into mist as it breaks into metallic dust. She can manipulate it through psychokinesis, allowing her to impart it on objects of her choice like the Yamaha V-Max.

She has a potent healing ability due to regeneration magic that automatically heals her wounds. It takes her own energy to heal wounds, so she relies on support from her Master if possible. While large, the first wound from Berserker heals in an hour, but the wound from Gae Bolg only heals on the outside and does not completely until Lancer's death due to its curse. Avalon's natural healing abilities greatly increases her healing potential, and it is able to heal her without using her own magical energy . It is not without limits, so it takes a number of minutes to recover from the backlash of Ea.

She has a high level of Charisma, noted to be a rare talent, and her rank reflects her time leading her country as king. Her influence was not enough to build a grand empire on global scale, so it remained at rank B, sufficient Charisma to rule one country. While she was a guardian of the British Isles, not even her charisma could stop the kingdom from crumbling. As the natural talent to lead an army, it increases the ability of her army during mass combat. Saber is easily able to battle alongside others, and even though she and Lancer only fought once, she was able to etch all of his secret techniques into her memory after having fought with their lives on the line. They are able to understand each other without explanation, allowing Lancer to understand her skills and intentions to pull off an impromptu plan that required complete synchronization between them. She is definitely not a Servant excelling in searching for the enemy, and it is more likely she would be found by enemies while wandering about.

As a Servant who can defy normal physics, she is capable of running directly up a building. She is unable to fly through the sky, but she can repeatedly kick off of the building to gain momentum. It is no different than free falling, only that she is rising until she loses her speed rather than plummeting downward. After having started, she must continue until she reaches the final destination of the rooftop. If she were to take any blows during the process, she would just fall to the ground. Such battle is so alien to her, as it is her first time engaging in an air battle as a knight who runs on the ground, that her inexperience makes her evenly matched with Rider who she normally had a great advantage over in close combat. She cannot be impeded by water due to her body having received divine blessing from the Lady of the Lake. The miracle from the blessing allows her to advance undeterred on water at full sprinting speed, which gains hardness identical to ground even while her feet splash against the surface.

Command Spells allow for the temporary strengthening of Servants, enough to fill Saber's enormous circuit, allowing for the one who ruled over the battlefields in the age of legends to be reborn. While going against Command Spells brings down a Servant's abilities, their effectiveness increases with the consent of both parties, allowing them to enforce the Servant's actions and possibly support and amplify them beyond what is normally possible. This makes Spatial Transportation, magecraft close to the level of Magic, possible, and allows for Saber to perform normally impossible physical feats. Shirou commanding her to fly fills her with energy and allows her to directly fly towards Archer on top of a building four kilometers away. It uses the same principal as leaping up a vertical building, but with much more energy behind it. Using all of the energy of the Command Spell on the one action allows her to increase the distance she can jump, effectively reducing the distance to zero in an instant. She is able to match the speed of Hrunting, allowing her to kill Archer in the same instant it reaches Shirou.

While she has gained knowledge on modern times from the Holy Grail, knowledge about other Heroic Spirits comes from the Throne of Heroes. She is able to recognize heroes like Cú Chulainn, but is unable to know of the legend behind Gilles de Rais or Joan of Arc.

Magic Circuits

Saber was born with the magical energy of a dragon, shown by the "Pendragon" name, as Uther ordered Merlin to grant his successor the factor of the dragon (ryū no inshi). She is the holder of the Element of the Red Dragon who carries the blood and very magical power of a phantasm in a human body, granting her a heart and unique Magic Circuits that transcend what can be achieved by normal humans and magi. Saber's Circuits are called a Magic Core, which is fundamentally different from those of a normal magus. While a magus' body can be considered a machine which creates magical energy, hers acts as a factory which creates magical energy. It functions as an enormous magical energy core with tremendous capacity that generates energy independent from her body simply through breathing like dragons. This allows for a case where she herself is so out of energy that she is unable to access the energy without a proper "starting key" to get the extra energy flowing. Due to the characteristics of a Dragon, she has trouble with existences such as Siegfried, who is associated with tales of culling Dragons and weapons with an anti-dragon attribute such as Arondight.

The fault in her summoning caused the normal line between Servant and Master to not be connected, so she cannot replenish magical energy normally under Shirou. She is essentially limited to the amount with which she was summoned, around 1250 units of magical energy, placing her in a bad situation. It would help her even if he were only able to provide a small amount, but she doesn't receive any due to lack of a normal spiritual connection. She uses the energy of ten average mature magi just in the span of her first day. She would have to use a low amount for all of the subsequent battles, ten units assuming there was no damage, which would also place a limit on her use of Excalibur.

She has to suppress her magical energy usage to the utmost to keep from fading away. She can lower the amount consumed by regularly consuming food, sleeping as much as possible, and disarming herself, as she cannot go into spiritual form to reduce the burden on her Master like other Servants. She can regenerate eight units of magical energy while subsiding on six units by being idle during the day, allowing her to save two units for later battle. The amount is inefficient, as the first battles with Lancer and Berserker cost her two hundred fifty units to protect herself and restore her broken armor. The only ways to supply her with energy would be to force her to feed on human souls with a Command Spell, or to use alternate means than the inactive spiritually connected path to provide her with magical energy.

Using Excalibur a single time is enough to completely cripple her in this state. She is left unconscious and in constant pain as she fights to keep fading away. She is left in a state where she can barely run while she is awake, and she is physically on par with a weakly Shirou. It is possible to use the physical path between Saber and Shirou to provide her with energy through intercourse, as the semen of a magus is a cluster of energy. During Realta Nua, they instead utilize the great amount of undiluted magical energy within her core. It is meaningless without enough energy to start it, requiring a "fire" to burn in order to activate it. It doesn't matter how small it is, as it will resume activity once a path to send magical energy is connected. Shirou uses part of his own Circuits to start Saber's Circuits.

Shirou travels there in an unconscious spiritual form, and encounters a dragon that takes form in Saber's unconsciousness. Shirou calls it "an absurd 'true nature' that is appropriate for the best Servant." It attacks him to obtain the necessary starting energy, and once reactivated, it shows its nature as a prismatic circuit as it glows with all the colors of the rainbow and burns with a golden fire as its circulation restarts. While the energy from either act is enough to keep her from fading away and allows her to actively battle, it is not able to allow her to use Excalibur. Attempting to use it straight away brings about a very weak version of it, and she instantly fades away after its use. She later regains enough energy to use it without instantly fading away, and bolstered by Avalon, she can use it four times in a row before completely disappearing.

Magic Resistance

The immense magical power from Saber's dragon blood grants her a very strong Magic Resistance that is the highest amongst the Servants, especially due to it having increased in magnitudes upon becoming a Servant. It is capable of completely neutralizing any magic that is A rank or below, including grand sorceries involving magic arrays and instant contracts not only from modern magi of the highest level but also those from the Age of Gods. She notes that divine mysteries greater than herself, such as True Magic and members of the Phantasmal Species with divinity, can overwhelm it. It is possible that it will not function to its fullest extent if she is targeted by "Dragon-slaying Sorceries." Its effectiveness is enough that its rank remains unchanged at A rank under both Shirou and Rin, regardless of their differences in power and characteristics, but it does decrease one rank to B with Sakura as her Master as result of the dark alignment from her Blackening. It becomes able to only nullify magic less than three verses, but it is still able to protect against grand sorceries and ritual magic with little chance of actually damaging her.

The extraordinary rank of her Magic Resistance is even able to resist an action forced onto her powered by one stroke of the Command Spell, sufficient enough to shake the very foundation of the Servant System, although only just barely. She is left in pain as compulsion and resistance clash intensely within her body from Kiritsugu's command, but she is able to use all of her strength to resist it. Under Caster's command, she is left in a state with no free will and her abilities lowered to the point where Caster can torture her with magecraft as long as she refuses to follow it. Caster believes that it will eventually infringe upon her mind enough to forcibly make her loyal within a day. She cannot handle having two used at once, so the tremendous force of dual Command Seals will ravage and crush Saber’s form and resistance to make her follow the second command without being able to stop it.

She cannot be directly wounded by magecraft, so she will charge in without fear to quickly determine the outcome of the battle with a slash. This is especially true against those of the Caster class, putting her at an overwhelming advantage and giving them little chance of victory should they face her directly. It is not effective against Caster'sPrelati's Spellbook because Magic Resistance is only activated when someone targets her to use magecraft, and the creatures are materialized and carry a threat different from magecraft. She is able to charge through Rin's jewel powered spells, strong enough to wound and kill Servants without Magic Resistance, without pause as they instantly disappear simply from touching her, and even Caster's Age of Gods magecraft is ineffective on her to the point where even Saber looks down on her abilities. It proves to be a hindrance when protecting Shirou in "Missing Ariadine" after he is caught by Caster's enforced transference due to being unaffected by it. She is able to weaken it herself to allow Shirou to attempt Reinforcement on her.

Mana Burst

Saber's entire fighting style and strength are based around her Mana Burstability. It infuses and accumulates magical energy into her weapon and body, momentarily injecting an arbitrary vector that allows for an exceptional boost of her abilities by instantaneously releasing the magical energy to reinforce herself. It can be called a jet blast of magical energy to increase her movements in close combat, and executing large-scale body reinforcement through Mana Burst is only possible with her immense magical power. It would allow for even a stick to become a weapon of great power at her rank, but normal weapons without strong divine protection will not be able to endure the magical energy-fueled attack and will be destroyed with one blow. Her power increases with her available energy, so she can gain a boost in power and speed six times the energy used her armor should she convert the cost for it into her Mana Burst.

She uses the magical energy for her sword techniques, guarding, and movement. Her body is naturally physically frail, and she is even weaker than Shirou and Rin should she not utilize the ability. It is the secret that has allowed her to brandish her large sword with the combat style of a power fighter, and she is able to reinforce the ability of her body to such a great extent using magical energy that she can fight head on with monsters such as Berserker even with the thin body of a small girl. Each of her powerful blows contains enough magical energy that they are visible, and if Lancer's strikes are like an accurate sniper rifle, her own can be compared to a powerful shotgun.

Simply striking the enemy's weapon causes the energy to penetrate it, and it fills the area with light. She can surge it around herself to blow apart bindings like Horrors, tearing them into slivers of flesh and scattering them in an instant. She uses Mana Burst to compensate her lack in strength while wielding Excalibur with one hand after being wounded by Gae Buidhe, but it drains much more energy and she still cannot use the strength that can only be delivered with both hands. She can easily adjust her strength to match Shirou's level of swordsmanship while training him, and she can readily increase it as he also improves.

Instinct

Saber has extremely honed Instincts that have gotten her through many battles, allowing her to instantly identify "the best personal course of action" during combat. It is a heightened sixth sense that is innate unlike something that can be gained by anyone through hard work like Eye of the Mind (True), and it is essentially in the realm of predicting the future as a form of precognition due to having been strengthened by a degree from the specialty of the Saber class.[29] It allows for the prediction of trajectory, allowing her to avoid attacks from firearms, and along with listening to the sound of cutting air, she can be said to have a protection against all projectile weapons. It also possible to negate the penalties inflicted by visual and auditory interference to a certain extent. While she cannot actually follow the confusing strikes of Kuzuki's Snake, she is able to dodge them purely through her Instinct because surprise attacks are ineffective against her. Even if she lacks sound logic or proof, it can be used a guidance, such as allowing her to tell that goading Berserker was a fatal mistake. It alerts her to the possible danger of an enemy, such as sensing a threat from Caster even though he is a magus and feeling Berserker's presence simply from his murderous intent.

Her instinctive alarm is triggered by Caster’s unnatural degree of confidence even with his fragile tentacle monsters being killed, and she is able to comprehend with extreme accuracy the nature of the threat from Berserker's F-15. Despite sensing Assassin to be harmless, her instincts tell her that he has a way to seize a certain kill even without a Noble Phantasm, and they tell her not to underestimate him for giving up his high ground because his words warning her of the lethality of Tsubame Gaeshi are true. While being able to discern techniques like Lancer’s ultimate technique, Gae Bolg, reflects her skill, her exceptional Instinct also helps her immensely. It allows her to turn and jump back from the attack with all her might, as if she knew it was going to happen. She is able to sense the possible arrival of certain "divine opportunities" for victory should she manage certain conditions. Against Tsubame Gaeshi, she is able to see a small blind spot created by the bent sword after having experienced it once before. While it allows her to see it, only her determination to follow it and charge in at Assassin without knowing if it would work allows her to defeat the skill.

While it can theoretically surpass thought for a natural talent in battle decisions and it has kept her alive over the years after having been sharpened through many battles, is not an infallible ability. Lancer is able to trick her with a ploy using his Noble Phantasms, leaving her unable to predict her blunder, and while she is able to dodge many of Kuzuki's strikes through pure instinct, it eventually fails her in the end. While she is able to select the best choice and follow that view normally, she is not able to even feel a chance of victory against Gilgamesh. It is as if the probability of victory is so low and the chance of a comeback is pretty much zero.

Chivalry

Saber’s ability is maximally unleashed while engaging in an honorable face-to-face single combat. It is a method of battle that is full of chivalric honor, and it is also one that suits her sense of aesthetics. She does not dislike strategizing, but she tends to loath fabricated strategies that have no concrete basis due to her experience as a capable military commander. She will fine tune her strategy meticulously, and she will further adapt her actions in response to the ever-changing dynamics of combat while in battle. She naturally dislikes cowardly actions, no matter if it involves strategies or not. Her compatibility with the cool-headed, achieving-his-goal-at-all-cost Master, Kiritsugu Emiya, was the worst due to his various strategies that involved using her as a tool.

She dislikes fights involving constant running and retreating, and such behavior from an opponent can only be seen as an insult to her pride as knight. Battles must determine the victor by exchanging blows with full force. While she believes Assassin is doing just that to her, he explains that the difference in their swords makes it impossible to clash directly without destroying his own. She likes the idea of withstanding a surprise attack fair and square, turning the tables to go for the kill, and reminding them that the Saber class is not about gallantry.

Due to her nature, she feels inclined follow the etiquette of a knight to properly introduce herself to an opponent should they give their own name. Despite the potentially devastating effects it could have on future battles, she feels that she cannot disgrace the faith of a knight. She would never normally reveal her true name no matter what torture she were to receive, but that is only for the sake of victory that is not worth more than her pride.

When fighting Lancer for the second time in the Fourth Holy Grail War, she replicates the effect of the wound to her hand left by Gae Buidhe even after it is healed. She deliberately forgoes using her left hand by tucking her left thumb into her palm, so that her fighting style is lighter and somewhat held back because the strength of the hand is not used at all when attacking. It is not actually grasping the sword, so the remaining four fingers are only lightly wrapped around for supporting the control of the sword. Her pride is not able to settle for accepting Lancer's concession of destroying his own spear, so she attempts to match him in an action of true chivalry.

While Lancer is worried that they can not have a true battle under those conditions, she tells him that using her left hand in the situation would cause her enough shame to slow her sword. As it would be a fatal mistake to face him in such a condition, she feels it is the best strategy in order to put all her strength into defeating him. The extent of the injury to her hand is only of secondary importance in battle, as the most important contributor to Saber’s ability to obtain victory is in her clear fighting spirit and passion for battle that has been honed to purity. The pride in her heart can be called her greatest weapon, so she would rather give up her left hand to sever any confusion in herself.

She is not against receiving Kiritsugu's help in order to secure the Grail during her final battle of the Fourth War. She is fine with entrusting everything to him at that moment because it is the only way to reverse the situation with Gilgamesh at the time. She resolves herself to do her utmost to carry out his battle tactics no matter how strange. She is fine as long as she is able to retaliate against Gilgamesh, whether it involves using a Command Spell to block the sense of pain and use all her strength in an attack that may destroy her body or to undergo instantaneous movement to the side of the Grail in order to get out of her disadvantageous position and attack him with Excalibur.

Riding

Saber has a very high rank in Riding because knights are soldiers proficient in mounted warfare. Chariots and normal mounts can easily be ridden, but she is unable to control Pegasi, Griffons, Dragons, and other Magical Beast and Divine Beast ranked members of the Phantasmal Species. She can not handle such high level beings because her class is not Rider, and due to the fact that she was a King in the Age of Man, she does not have the fortune of having "Legends of Riding Phantasmal Species." She is able to control modern machinery like motorcycles and automobiles in a similar fashion to mounts. The Riding skill is applicable because they are treated as "modern mounts", but it is unclear if it is applicable to aircrafts. While the rank is B under both Shirou and Rin, it is elevated to A while having Kiritsugu as her Master.

The ability allows her to completely understand the control of all ridden equipment both known and unknown to her. Even having never driven a car, she is able to make quick decisions that allow her to easily control it on her first time driving. Even if she doesn't know the actual function of a button, she is able to understand the effect it will have once pressed. She is confident in the prospect of piloting a passenger plane or any other mount by sitting on a saddle, seizing a bridle, and managing the rest with instinct. She does not have the opportunity to demonstrate her Riding ability in the Fifth Holy Grail War, but the battles might have developed differently if she were provided with an appropriate mount. She drives both Irisviel's Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe and a Yamaha V-Max prepared by Kiritsugu during the Fourth Holy Grail War.

While she chauffeurs Irisviel around in her Mercedes, it is not suitable for battle with other Servants. Four-wheeled vehicles, while controllable, are too constraining with the driver placed into a seat while constricted by safety belts. She is unable to get a natural feel for the vehicle without the act of actually riding it. In order to maximize Saber's Riding skill and the reinforced abilities of a Servant, something two-wheeled is necessary. It becomes much easier to control if the driver is able to become part of the vehicle itself to allow them to control balance, expose them to the outside elements, and allow them to feel the internal composition as if it were an extension of their own physical body. While a Servant's dexterity is far above such machines in both terms of maximum acceleration and maximum speed, they can travel while maintaining their speed as long as they have fuel, so she can avoid wasting energy in a drawn out pursuit.

Yamaha V-Max

Kiritsugu has Maiya prepare a mechanical prop more fitting for guerrilla warfare than a car in the form of a Yamaha V-Max, a powerful motorcycle likened to a "steel lion", during the Fourth Holy Grail War. It has a ridiculously impractical and hypothetical design that ignores the limits of normal drivers. The motorcycle body, that of a Yamaha V-Max, is already the most powerful in the modern world, and the original V4 1200cc 140 Horsepower engine that could already work near its limits was strengthened again into a V4 1400cc engine. The acceleration system is completely reinforced to make it a monstrous abnormality with an output equal to 250 Horsepower. The structure of the V-style propelling mechanism and its four-cylinder design allows it to immediately start to work as a two-cylinder design when the limit of engine rotation is reached and allows it to increase the amount of air sucked in to achieve an ultimate acceleration.

It has surpassed the basic rule of a machine, the limit of "machines are tools of men." It can be thought of as an alien creation born through advanced modern technology which can only show its true worth by having an inhuman Servant rider. It is a design structure that would normally never be placed on a machine using two cylinders, but it is a "beast" that has completely surpassed the limits of a motorcycle. It can no longer function properly as a two-wheeled design because of the various extreme reinforcements. The wheels have too much torque, and they cannot generate enough friction with the road and only keep on turning. The front wheel jumps up whenever the brakes are applied, creating enough force to throw off the driver immediately. Its deepest hidden secret and most powerful trump card lies in a button on the steering wheel. It causes a valve inside the interior of the engine to switch to automatic mode and fill with oxide fuel. The nitrous oxide expands under the high temperature of three hundred degrees Celsius and reaches the boundaries of its limits to increase the V-Max's acceleration rapidly by twofold.

Saber, as a Servant, exists far beyond ordinary humans, so she is able to manage control over it with ease. Acting as her "steed", the speed it grants reminds her of riding a horse more than the Mercedes, and even though she is driving a creation of modern technology, riding it allows her spirit to return to the memorable battlefields of the past and regain the spirit of chivalry from a time when she had held her lance and charged towards the enemy formation. She becomes able to easily detect obstacles blocking her path through changes in the air flow, and even closing her eyes wouldn't hinder her ability to avoid collisions. She removes her armor because it would only hinder her riding, and because she is short in stature, she can only control the over three hundred kilogram, super heavily reinforced motorcycle in a precarious driving position. She is practically lying flat on top of the engine, which is covered by a plastic turbo pump, and is forced to bear the powerful vibrations of the large engine while holding onto the steering like a child desperately clinging onto the back of a beast.

She has no trouble controlling the physically uncontrollable steed perfectly at full speed from that position due to her prided battle skills and Mana Burst ability. She focuses the motorcycle's horsepower entirely on acceleration, and controls it with the enormous power of her mana bursts instead of breaking. As it was completely revamped to achieve the ultimate acceleration, it has no dexterity much like cars modified to compete in high-speed short and straight courses. Her superior skills allow her to overturn the common physical rule of "vehicles can’t turn corners at high speed", making it possible for her to open the throttle valves on tight turns to pour all of the excess torque into the back wheel. The intense acceleration would normally threaten to topple the vehicle sideways due to the front wheel starting to drift, but her explosive energy allows her to forcibly tilt it to the side in order to complete the turn. Rather than skill, it is more like using even more power to overwhelm and twist the direction of the vehicle.

Despite the machinery being extremely advanced, it is unable to cope with Saber's riding for very long. It easily reaches 6000 revolutions per minute from her breakneck pace, and on its own, it is able to reach over three hundred kilometers per hour. No mater how much of her magical energy she uses, the strength of its material composition and structure are limited to their original design. Before even catching up to Gordius Wheel, the machine has fully manifested all of its ability to its greatest capacity by that point, and the engine and acceleration system already show signs of breaking down. The ability to match something transcending normality like a Noble Phantasm requires to use both her armor and Invisible Air in conjunction to reinforce it and reduce the burden. This mode is called Saber Motored Cuirassier (Saber Motard Cuiassier). Through intense psychokinesis, she is able to fuse her own armor with the bike following a concept similar to the armor that protected beloved horses on the battlefield to turn the motorcycle into a "magical beast" with a hard structure befitting its extraordinarily strong horsepower.

The capability of the entire bike is increased due to being wrapped in the flexible and strong sliver armor, and she constantly releases her magical energy to reinforce, cover, and protect various important parts that are able to ensure maximum speed of movement. It also increases her unity of riding by truly making it into her own limbs. The speed causes air friction that is close to approaching the force of water pressure, so she releases Invisible Air in the shape of an arrow around her to completely cover the body of the vehicle. She is able to entirely release it from air resistance by decreasing it to zero with the compression of the pneumatic umbrella. This allows it to easily reach over four hundred kilometers per hour, and due to the pressure released by the magecraft, the back wheel is firmly pressed against the cement even when making turns at full throttle. She has full control even at this speed, allowing her to easily dodge and weave through numerous obstacles while only on one wheel.

Contract

Heroic Spirits are those who have been removed from the time axis and placed on the Throne of Heroes, while Saber can still be considered living. The hero known as King Arthur is not currently classified as a Heroic Spirit, so she cannot be called a complete Servant. She made a pact with the World as she was on the verge of death after the Battle of Camlann that will require her to become a Counter Guardian, a sub-category of a Heroic Spirit at the service of the World, after her death. These pacts are normally done by those requiring the power beyond ordinary humans to become heroes during their lifetimes, but her wish instead came at the time of her death because King Arthur did not require support to become a hero.

Due to the fact that she could not obtain the Holy Grail during her lifetime, she could not stand not having it in her final moments when a wish appeared that she needed granted. She could not complete the search for it, so she asked the World to allow her to obtain the Holy Grail while she still lived. King Arthur will not die until she obtains the Holy Grail, also meaning that King Arthur cannot die. She should be dead according to the timeline, but the contract cannot be fulfilled if that is true. Time is stopped for her at the moment of death, so it can be said that she is stopped in time rather than that time itself is stopped. The flow of time doesn't care that she is stopped, so it keeps flowing into the present without any issues.

While she is not actually a Heroic Spirit, she can be summoned as one because as long as she continues to seek the Holy Grail, it is evident that she will eventually become a complete Heroic Spirit. The result of obtaining the Holy Grail and fulfilling the contract are already determined, so she has an infinite amount of chances to claim it. This also allows her to be summoned into many ages even without being outside of time and before she became a Heroic Spirit due to the condition that her becoming one is already determined. She has no trouble staying in the world for an indefinite time during the Unlimited Blade Works good ending even though she has yet to fulfill or cancel the contract.

It would not be possible to summon her if she does not seek the Holy Grail, and as she cannot be summoned unless something called the Holy Grail is present, her existence is proof of its existence. Trials to obtain the Holy Grail exist in all ages, so she will eventually obtain it as she continues to challenge each one. Continuing the search for the Holy Grail of Fuyuki as a Servant or on any battlefield where there is a chance to obtain the Holy Grail can be done as many times as she wishes. Due to the fact that she still exists within the time axis, she cannot participate in two chances to obtain the Holy Grail at once, and she cannot redo chances she has already failed. She will fail a lost attempt at the Grail no matter how many times she tries because she cannot change an already experienced result.

Heroic Spirits summoned as Servants are all copies of the "true body" stored in the Throne of Heroes, but she had not yet reached that rank. She instead is called in the form of "myself about to die." This makes her current incarnation unique among Servants because she is called from within the time axis rather than being copied from outside of the concept of time. She jumps forward or backward in time from the moment of her death, and returns to that moment upon obtaining or failing to obtain the Grail. Should she claim it, her time will flow again and she will die just as history has recorded. Should she fail, all her memories are returned to her body, and she can either continue her search for the Grail or cancel the contract should she find a reason.

She originally claims that she cannot enter spirit form due to Shirou's inexperience as a magus, but eventually tells that it actually has to do with her body. Due to not having actually died, she is classified as a living being despite being handled differently as a Servant. This also allows her to keep all memories of her search for the Grail unlike Heroic Spirits that don't allow for any inconsistencies in their memories. Upon learning new knowledge, the self that learns will disappear after their duty is complete. With the exception of Archer's ability to "read" outside records of his actions as a Counter Guardian, Servants would normally not have any memories if they happened to be summoned in two different Grail Wars, while Saber completely retains all of the happenings of the Fourth Holy Grail War.

If her wish is granted, another king will be chosen in King Arthur's place. Even after she is no more, she will still have to act as the hero King Arthur, instead as a Counter Guardian, even without a legend behind her. Purposefully destroying the Grail means also destroying her contract and ability to be summoned as a Servant. After giving up on obtaining the Grail and terminating her contract with the World during Fate, she goes to Avalon rather than being removed from the cycle of transmigration to be placed on the Throne of Heroes like other Heroic Spirits. She is still considered a person in the present among the English as the "Once and Future King." She also destroys the Grail voluntarily during Unlimited Blade Works, but the contract is only halfway done rather than fully broken because it was a flawed Holy Grail and she is still unsure of herself. Since she reconsiders her life and finds her own path, it is possible she can become a Heroic Spirit on her own.

Trivia

  • Kinoko Nasu's original story of Fate, Saber and Shirou were opposite gender to now. Takashi Takeuchi convinced to Nasu to change the gender of Saber but the essential theme had not been changed, it's the story about legendary heroes and "a boy meets a girl."
  • Gen Urobuchi believes Saber's relationship with Shirou doesn't seem like a realistic relationship between a male and a female, but a complicated relationship with a boy who became a girl. He further explains that it is not a relationship fueled by instinct like the relationship between a man and a woman, but a romance of logic between two people who need each other from the heart. He thinks the Fate route could have been told as a story through the ancient Greek views on love.
  • She often ranks near the top of official popularity polls, and she ranked first out of the female characters during the TYPE-MOON Fes. tenth anniversary poll.

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