There’s a Gu Long ranking somewhere here. Here’s my Jin Yong ranking to start a discussion. There’s probably some disputes about how I rank them. I’ll omit those who didn’t appear such as Dugu Qiubai. I want to focus on those that made an appearance and actually faced combat in the novels.
1. Sweeper monk
Defeated numerous legendary figures easily. Enough said.
2. Dongfang Bubai
Even the combined effort of Ren Woxing, Linghu Chong and Xiang Wentian was no match against him. He had the upper hand and would have won if not for the distraction caused by Yang Lianting. To hold his own so well despite being outnumbered by high level opponents is no mean feat.
3. Zhang Sanfeng
The founder of Wudang had no match, even when he was seriously injured.
4. Zhang Wuji, Shi Potian
Zhang Wuji mastered many abilities:
Wudong Long Fists
Seven Injury Fists
Cloud Ascending Steps
Nine Yang Technique
Great Heaven and Earth Shift
Dragon Claw Hands
Holy Flame Tablets
Likewise, Shi Potian picked up many skills:
Shaolin inner energy cultivation
Arhat Demon-slaying Technique
5. Xu Zhu
He inherited the cultivation of Wu Yazi and Tianshan Tonglao, over two centuries of combined cultivation.
Ranked top in the 33 assassins in ancient China.
7. Zhou Botong
He learns martial arts for fun. He’s mastered the Nine Yin Manual, Ambidextrous Technique, Seventy-two Kongmin Fists. All these on top of his years of cultivation as a Quanzhen first generation member.
8. Xiao Feng, Duan Yu
Xiao Feng mastered the full 28 Dragon-subduing Palms, placing him above Guo Jing in the rankings. Duan Yu learned series of skills and is immune to poison. Lingbo Footwork, North Sea Technique, and the Six Pulses Spirit Sword.
9. Guo Jing
Strongest of the New Five Greats. He mastered many skills
- Demon Subduing Staff Skill
- Bare Handed Disarming Skill
- Bone and Joint Dislocation Hand
- Golden Dragon Whip Skill
- Southern Mountain Saber Skill
- Mountain Splitting Palm Skill
- Huyan Spear Skill
- Yue Maiden Swordplay
- Quanzhen cultivation
- Nine Yin Manual
- Eighteen Dragon-subduing Palms
- Seventy-two Kongmin Fists
- Ambidextrous Technique
Well Zhang Sanfeng himself admit that he’s not at Guo Jing “level” according by Wuji and Wuji though he have a lot of great skill but lack of battle prowess/experience and weak mentality so I would pick Zhang Sanfeng above Wuji…
As for Guo Jing unfortunelly we dont see him in a fight post 16 years ROCH so we don’t know how strong him post 16 years ROCH/end ROCH
For Lao Wantong (Zhou Botong) he would lose if Yang Guo “serious” from the start of their friendly fight
So I would rank
- Xu Zhu
- Duan Yu
- Xiao Feng
- Zhou Botong
@Natal That’s an interesting ranking. Why do Xu Zhu and Shi Potian rank so high? Is Dongfang Bubai beneath them and Duan Yu?
I’m more with @FlyingDagger’s ranking because it makes sense. Zhang Sanfeng is older and has a lot more years to cultivate his internal energy compared to Guo Jing. Just like how Xiao Feng and Duan Yu lose out to Xu Zhu because they lack the hundreds of years of cultivation Xu Zhu had gained. I would say Yang Guo is on par or maybe ranked 10th. Guo Jing had better training and built up his internal energy over a longer time.
well Zhang Sanfeng himself admit he’s not at Guo Jing “level” (narrated by Wuji to Zhou Zhiruo at remotely island) so since Guo Jing ~ Yang Guo that’s mean also Guo Jing > Zhang Sanfeng/Wuji…
As for Xu Zhu is likely no one can overpowered him at the DGSD except Sweeper Monk…
And for Shi Potian when he’s at “trance mode” he can easily defeat Lord Mu and Lord Long together from Hero Island in blink of eye since Lord Mu/Long at least at Ren Woxing level
And for Yang Guo he’s arguably the most powerful fighter among Condor Hero since he can overwhelmed Jinlun Fawang even when he’s at “happy mode”…
You don’t need to split them into different posts…
@Jenxi Check it out
"You have talent,” Zhang Wuji said, “Although you don’t know too many martial art forms and stances, your internal energy foundation is excellent. My Tai Shifu [grand master, he was referring to Zhang Sanfeng] once said, in the advance study of martial art, oftentimes the level of achievement each individual is closely related to one’s natural endowments. Furthermore, someone who is intelligent and possesses excellent comprehension may not necessarily capable of achieving the highest level of mastery. It was said that your sect’s founder, Zushi [ancestor master] Guo Nuxia’s [heroine Guo] father, Guo Jing Daxia [great hero] was slow, yet his martial art skill shook the world from the ancient time until today. Even Tai Shifu said that his energy level has not reached the level of Guo Daxia of the past. It seems to me that your Emei Pai’s internal energy cultivation technique is superior to the Wudang Pai’s; I’ll say that your future achievement may surpass Zunshi Miejue Shitai’s.”
I need to go read that. Which chapter is it?
Heaven Sword Dragon Sabre chapter 31 page 5 based on 2nd edition/revision…
Dugu Qiubai is on the same level as Sweeper Monk. There’s also the ancestor of Duan Family and the founder of the Xiaoyao Sect. They’re also presumed to be on Sweeper Monk’s level. All of these characters are cheat characters that are way beyond the scope of the novels though.
Any speculations about why do they become less powerful as time goes by instead of becoming even better?
Anyone else care to put down a list? Come on!
Sad state Yang Guo one-shot Zhou Botong and Jinlun Fawang in the 2014 version. So Yang Guo is at least above Zhou Botong at number 7.
my rough ranking, i never really think this matter seriously
- Sweeper monk
- shi potian
- A Qing
- Xu zhu
- Duan Yu
With so many great masters named but not seen, it’s very hard to truly determine “power levels”. The biggest example being Guo Jing not having much of a combat presence in Return, he’s probably taken Wang Chongyang’s place as the most powerful, but we have no definition of what that means.
Also, it seems that by the time of Heavenly Sword & Dragon Sabre, the overall skills and powers of the wulin do not compare to previous generations. There are no Five Greats.
Zhang Wuji is head, shoulders, and torso above all the others, the next levels would be Zhang Sanfeng and the Shaolin Elders (individually), followed by Shing Kwun and Xie Xun and possibly the Yellow Maiden at the next tier, then Zhou Ziruo in between them and Fan Yao/Yang Xiao.
The point was I think Guo Jing in ROCH is probably the most powerful protagonist. The Sweeper is the most powerful mentioned character, and Zhang Wuji is the most dominant character of his era. Guo Jing is very powerful, but he has others who are very near his level, whereas Zhang Wuji is very young and already can surpass the entire wulin except for some of the most powerful Shaolin elders. However, if you place Wuji in Guo Jing’s era, he might be borderline 5 Greats, or the tier right below them. Of the three protagonists of the Condor Trilogy, we only see Guo Jing develop into adulthood. Yang Guo is still a young adult at the end of Return, and Zhang Wuji exits the wulin at a very young age as well.
Given the same time to develop their skills and possibly cultivate new ones Zhang Wuji and Yang Guo might make this interesting, considering Yang Guo’s Melancholy Fists showed a lot of creativity (which Guo Jing admittedly did not have in youth), and Zhang Wuji’s Jiu Yang skill allows him to learn skills fast, and his ability to learn medicine fairly quickly implies he’s quite brillaint.