Vasco Strada is a former Exorcist and wielder of Durandal that is said to be closest to the original wielder Roland. He was also ranked as the second-highest official in the Church as Cardinal Priest.
Vasco is a 2-meter elderly man. He has white hair and his face has wrinkles on it; similar to that of a normal elderly. Although Vasco is already old, his body is that of an extremely muscular man. He has a thick neck, thick chest, thick arms, and legs that have the same girth as Issei himself. In comparison to Xenovia wielding Durandal that looks way bigger than her, the Durandal seems small when it is in the hands of Vasco.
He wears priest vestments.
Vasco is an extremely gentle and compassionate man. Even though he was a former exorcist, he has shown no lingering hatred to the Devils and Fallen Angels after the treaty. He also cares for the sake of everyone; not just the exorcists that rebelled but also everyone involved in the alliance. Vasco was immensely respected by the people of the church due to his immense compassion and powerful strength as shown in Volume 19 when the exorcists who rebelled shed tears when Vasco intended to sacrifice himself for the exorcists to find closure from their past.
Cao Cao has noted that Vasco, as one considered to be a hero, is similar to Issei.
When Vasco was still an exorcist, he was able to defeat and corner Kokabiel during the Second World War. At some point before Asia's banishment from the Church, Vasco met Asia. He also tried to save Asia after he heard the news of her being banished but was too late. He was also, at some point, offered by two of the Four Great Seraphs Uriel and Raphael to be reincarnated as an Angel and be a part of their Brave Saint system but refused as he wanted to die as a human.
Vasco was first introduced in Volume 19 when he delivered a letter of challenge. Issei was unable to do anything as he was unable to move just by Vasco placing his hand on his shoulder; attesting to Vasco's power. He gave the letter of challenge to Rias and left right after.
The fight was set up to take place in a replica of the Kuoh Town in an artificial dimension created by Rossweisse. Vasco, along with hundreds of exorcists, was up against the Gremory Team sans Yuuto, Saji, and Arthur Pendragon. Before the fight started, Yuuto and Irina arrived inside a bubble created by Dulio Gesualdo that has an effect to make people that made contact with the bubble remember things important to them. This made the exorcists lose their fighting spirit and was unable to fight but not Vasco. The group engaged against Vasco but they were unable to do anything against him as they see all their attacks blocked. Irina's sword was blocked by using two fingers, Yuuto's holy-demonic sword was caught and crushed by his bare hands, Rossweisse's magical attacks was easily nullified by altering the magical calculations, was able to overwhelm Gasper Balor, cut the lines and cage Saji made in his Balance Breaker, block Issei's punch in his Crimson Armor, cut five of Akeno's Raikōryū in half by using the holy wave of the Durandal replica and needed twenty layers of Rossweisse's barriers to fully stop the holy wave, Xenovia's attacks using the combined abilities of Ex-Durandal were blocked, and lastly, cut Rias' Extinguished Star in half. Arthur then proceeded to fight against Vasco and he was able to fight evenly against him albeit both are not fighting seriously. After a short skirmish, they both stopped with Strada apologizing to Arthur and Arthur saying that if Vasco was twenty years younger, they would've had the best fight. After Vasco's fight against Arthur, Xenovia pushed forward again but this time, she's dual wielding Durandal and the True Excalibur, heeding the advice Vasco gave her. Vasco and Xenovia clashed head on which resulted in Vasco's defeat due to exhaustion from his old age.
Before Vasco was teleported away for interrogation, he gave Asia an envelope that contains letters from the people that she healed when she was still considered a holy maiden. Then, he reunited Yuuto with a person from his past, Tosca. Vasco told him to take care of her. Lastly, he gave a piece of the original Holy Grail to Azazel.
In Volume 20, it is revealed that despite his role in the Church warriors' rebellion, many members of the church advocated for him due to his many meritorious deeds before the alliance was created. So he is under house arrest, living on a farm in Italy with a barrier surrounding it. He is visited by Cao Cao, who asks him what it means to be a hero. After hearing Cao Cao's words, Vasco laughed and told him that he was too young to claim to be a hero. Vasco then proceeded to explain that the people decide who is a hero. He ended the conversation by saying that he cannot win against someone who is loved.
In Volume 21, Vasco and his followers joined the battle against Qlippoth's army taking place at the coastal waters of Japan killing a Grendel clone and many other Evil Dragons with his Durandal replica.
Red Dragon Emperor of the Blazing Truth × White Dragon Emperor of the Morning Star: The True Dragon(s) of the Kuoh Academy
In Volume 23, Vasco joins Rias' peerage as her Rook for the Rating Game World Tournament where Rias, with Valerie's help, provides him with a much younger body through the power of the Sephiroth Graal, Demon God Balor, and Koneko's senjutsu, as well handing him a new sword: Durandal II.
In Volume 24, Vasco paid a visit to the Hyoudou Residence when all the parents and guardians of Issei's current fiancees were discussing plans for their respected wedding ceremonies, where he stated to Issei that he will be the priest at their wedding. Rias then announced to everyone that he will be part of her peerage in the Rating Game World Tournament.
In the next match, Rias' team faced off against Vali's Team, during which Vasco's age had been previously reverted to his 50s which he claims to be his prime. Vasco easily overpowered Vali, Bikou, Gogmagog, and Fenrir until Arthur stepped in to fight him one-on-one in a sword match while expressing a grin of delight on their faces.
Both swordsmen held out for a while, but Vasco's attacks nearly depleted Arthur's stamina as he kneels down every time he blocked his sword, even when he used his sword technique to strike at him via portals created by Caliburn, Vasco was still able to avoid each blow. While Vasco complimented Arthur's skills as a swordsman, he also lectures how they've been tainted by a slight sense of vanity. Refusing to give up, Arthur channeled holy aura into his blade again and let loose a holy wave. However, this move was canceled by Vasco's Holy Fist. Believing that he will most likely lose this fight, Arthur still wished to continue to give all he had for the remainder of it. Vasco then headed to Rias' location to assist her after Arthur had collapsed on the ground from exhausting his stamina and the rebuilt Gogmagog had come after her. As he charges up his Holy Fist for the Golem, Rias had reached her limit and was unable to avoid the clash of Vasco's attack, so under Gasper's warnings, Rias had to surrender the game before Vasco could strike.
In Volume 25, Vasco took part in the training session held by Ajuka Beelzebub along with his team and Issei’s team. During the training in the Beelzebub game, Vasco became fond of social network games and received five-star characters which amazed everyone and together with Lint climbed up a mountain. After the girls talked about Issei, Vasco became pleased and called them youths which he considered beautiful.
Vasco celebrated at the Hyoudou Residence with his team and the rival teams after passing the preliminaries.
Powers and Abilities
Natural-born Holy Sword Wielder: Vasco is a natural born Holy sword wielder.
- High Durandal Compatibility: Vasco has an incredibly high level of compatibility with the notoriously picky Durandal. His compatibility is so great that some theorize that his ability to use Durandal surpasses that of Roland, the original wielder of Durandal.
Immense Exorcist Skills: Vasco is an extremely powerful exorcist, being able to slay even the most powerful of Devils by relying solely on his own skills, as seen by his being able to defeat Kokabiel, a Fallen Angel Cadre, in his youth. According to Rias, even the current Satans (including Super Devils Sirzechs and Ajuka) feared Vasco in his prime. Even in his old age, Vasco remains immensely powerful as during most of his battle against the Gremory group, Vasco has the upper hand despite Issei using his Crimson Armor and Saji using his Balance Breaker. After being restored to his prime, Vasco overpowered Vali, Bikou, a weakened Fenrir, and Gogmagog singlehandedly.
Master Swordsman: Vasco is an extremely skillful master swordsman who is able to overcome master swordsmen like Kiba and Xenovia with minimal effort. Using the Durandal Replica, he fought on par with Arthur Pendragon who is a tremendously skilled master swordsman and who also wielded Caliburn, the strongest Holy Sword at the same time.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Vasco is also a skilled master hand-to-hand combatant whose skills are supplemented by his immense physical abilities, as shown when he could block Irina's Hauteclare with his fingers, caught and crushed Yuuto's Sword Of Betrayer just by gripping it, and threw extremely powerful punches that could destroy buildings simply from the shock-wave generated from his fists. Rias even noted Vasco's hand-to-hand combat prowess is on pair with Sairaorg's, a Devil who is an extremely powerful martial arts master.
Immense Strength: Vasco has tremendous physical prowess due to having gone through constant training in his youth. Even as an old man, his punches are as powerful as Sairaorg's despite the former being a human. In his initial encounter with Issei and the others, Vasco stopped Issei by placing his hand on his shoulder using enormous pressure. In battle, he swung a weapon as big as the replica of Durandal while being fast enough to match the speed of Kiba. Even an exorcist as strong as Ewald Cristaldi, a strong Exorcist in his own right, stated that Vasco was the true monster. It is known that Vasco had become a candidate to be one of the Aces of two of the Four Great Seraph, Uriel and Raphael; if he accepted, then he could have become one of the Strongest among the reincarnated angels. After being hit by Strada, Bikou compared his strength to the First Generation Sun Wukong. During the Rating Game between Rias and Vali, he overpowered both Bikou and Gogmagog with ease while countering Gogmagog's Rocket Punch with a single strike of his fist. After being restored to his prime, he sequentially overwhelmed Gogmagog, Bikou, a weakened Fenrir and Vali in his Empireo Juggernaut Overdrive, successfully outmaneuvering the latter and managing to break his silvery-white armor.
Immense Speed: Vasco is shown to be extremely fast, as he is able to catch Devils and Angels by surprise despite being a human and of senior age. In Volume 24, Vasco displayed enough speed to leave after images.
Immense Stamina: Vasco has massive amounts of stamina; despite being an 87-year old man, his physical abilities have not been tarnished. Instead he remains just as strong as is shown by how he could fight the extremely powerful Gremory group without tiring. His stamina, however, is noticeably depleted from how he was in his youth, as was evident by his showing signs of fatigue after a short battle with Arthur Pendragon.
Sacred Fist: Vasco is able to fuse holy power into his punches, thus allowing him to damage beings that are weak to holy energy even without the use of holy swords. Augmented with his tremendous physical strength, Vasco could cause an immense amount of damage to Devils.
Magic Neutralization: Vasco's immense experience and knowledge, which was born from years and years of fighting against Magicians and those who use magic, lets him locate even the tiniest flaws in his opponents' magical attacks and allows him to neutralize them via the application of brute force to very specific points on the magic attack.
Magic: Vasco can use magic to store away Durandal II in another dimension and summon it back when he needs it.
Immense Combat Skills: Ever since he was a young exorcist, Vasco possesses tremendous skills in both armed and unarmed combat. Azazel mentions that he almost defeated Kokabiel in World War II. He single-handedly took on several members of DxD with just a minimal amount of effort and can fight on par with Arthur, an immensely strong and skilled master swordsman, which in the end goes in the favor of team DxD because he had lost a lot of stamina which was due to him taking on the DxD team by himself.
Flight: During the events of volume 20, Vasco demonstrates the ability to stay afloat in mid-air.
Durandal Replica (デュランダル, Dyurandaru): Vasco was given a replica of the original Durandal by the Pope. As it is a replica, it only has one-fifth of the power of the original. But even though it's just a replica, Vasco was able to draw out its maximum potential; demonstrating the ability of Durandal to cut everything without exception.
Durandal II: The newest holy sword created by the Church which has a blue blade and an aggressive holy aura. An evolution of the original Durandal wielded by Xenovia, it was created specifically for Vasco so he can display his sword skills that were once called a "living miracle" one again.
- Vasco is the oldest known human in the series.
- Vasco is a Spanish name whereas Strada is an Italian name, so this suggests Vasco is Spanish-Italian.
- Vasco means "crow" and Strada means "spread out, extend". These two meanings could very well be a reference to the fact Vasco can fly.
- Vasco is listed among the strongest humans, along with Arthur, Tobio, Cao Cao, and Mitsuya.
- Vasco wants to give his blessings as a priest at each of Issei's wedding ceremonies, as it would give him great satisfaction to do so.