Vasco Strada is a former exorcist and the former wielder of Durandal that is said to be closest to the original wielder Roland. He is 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, and 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 fiances were discussing plans for their respected wedding ceremonies, he appeared before Issei saying 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.
The next match Rias' team faced was against Vali's Team, during which Vasco's age had been previously reverted to his 50s which he claims it 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 hold 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 spacial portals, 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 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 Gaspers warnings Rias had to surrender the game before Vasco could strike.
Powers and Abilities
Natural-born Holy Sword Wielder: Vasco is a natural born Holy sword wielder with an extremely high compatibility with Durandal.
Immense Exorcist Skills: Vasco is an extremely powerful exorcist, being able to slay even the most powerful Devils relying solely on his own skills, 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 during his prime. Even in old age, Vasco remains immensely powerful, 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 could overpower Vali, Bikou, a weakened Fenrir, and Gogmagog singlehandedly.
Immense Strength: Due to constant training, Vasco has shown to have tremendous physical strength, as his punches are as powerful as Sairaorg Bael's even with the former's old age and body as a human. He was also able to stop Issei's movement just by placing a hand on his shoulder which according to Issei felt an enormous amount of pressure, during battle Vasco can swing the very heavy Durandal fast enough to match Yuuto's speed, Vasco was so strong that he was a top candidate to be an Ace of the Four Great Seraphs having been chosen by Seraphs Uriel and Raphael and Vasco would have been considered one of the strongest reincarnated Angels had he accepted their offer to be a part of the Brave Saints system. Even Cristaldi, an incredibly strong exorcist in his own right, stated that Vasco is the true monster, a statement agreed by Issei who views Strada as a power monster. Bikou, after being hit by Strada, compared his strength to that of the First Generation Sun Wukong. During the Rating Game between Rias and Vali, Vasco overpowered both Bikou and Gogmagog with ease, countering Gogmagog's Rocket Punch with a single strike of his fist. After being restored to his prime by the efforts of Valerie, Gasper, and Koneko, 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.
Master Swordsman: Vasco is an extremely skillful master swordsman able to overcome master swordsmen like Kiba and Xenovia with minimal effort. Using just a replica holy sword, he could fight on equal level with Arthur Pendragon, a tremendously skilled master swordsman wielding Caliburn the strongest Holy Sword.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Vasco is also a skilled master hand-to-hand combatant 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 with a grip, 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 Speed: Vasco is shown to be extremely fast, 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 human, his physical abilities have not been tarnished, instead he remains just as strong as shown he could fight the extremely powerful Gremory group without tiring. His stamina, however, is noticeably much depleted from his youth, showing signs of fatigue after a short battle with Arthur Pendragon.
Sacred Fist: Vasco is able to fuse holy power with his punches allowing him to damage beings weak to holy things even without the use of holy swords. Augmented with his tremendous physical strength, Vasco could cause immense damage towards Devils.
Magic Neutralization: Vasco's immense experience and knowledge born from years and years of fighting against Magicians and those who use magic let him locate even the tiniest flaws in his opponents' magical attacks and neutralize them via applying 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 his youth age as an exorcist, Vasco possesses tremendous skills in combats in both melee and hand to hand battles that it was revealed to be true. When Azazel mentions that he is the one who nearly defeated Kokabiel during World War II. He can single-handedly take on several members of DxD with just him with minimal effort and can fight on par with Arthur an immensely strong and skilled master swordsman which in the end go in the favor of team DxD because he had lost a lot stamina, due to him for taking the DxD team by himself.
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 even that of Roland, the original wielder of Durandal.
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.