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Trusk'our

Is a shardblade really that useful?

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So, it has been mentioned in The Way of Kings that a shardblade is worth entire kingdoms. Now, I know that a shardeblade is quite dangerous compared to a normal sword, but, does it really provide such an overwhelming advantage on it's own? They're long, giving a reach advantage over most enemies, they can't be broken, stolen, or lost, and they can cut through almost anything as if passing through water. However, a shardblade alone would not be enough to stop a few well trained individuals surrounding you, or a well placed arrow or bullet, or save you from a poisoned drink. Shardplate, despite being less invested (we can assume this because Sanderson said that it would be slightly more difficult to push on a shardblade than shardplate as a coinshot), is a different story altogether, but that's not what this post is about.

The amount of investiture held within a shardblade is tremendous, but it seems to me that it accomplishes less than other lesser sources of investiture, such as the Bands of Mourning. What are your guys' thoughts on this?

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So think of it this way, someone makes a gun that shoots bullets that go through anything, and instantly kill anyone they hit.

That's worth a lot of money, Shardblades are that but for swords.

And living ones can shapeshift.

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You pointed out the whole reason Adolin says Shardwielders can't hold ground. Alone it isn't overwhelming no, but in a conflict between any equal force except that one side has a Shardblade and the other doesn't will almost certainly end in favor of the side with the Shardblade. While tactics exist to try and swam and take out Shardwielders as early as possible, the wielder will almost always be highly protected. Roshar has full plate armor or at least close to it, someone wearing that would be very hard to kill before they could kill you with the Blade. Multiple times we've seen a single swipe kill multiple soldiers casually because armor or even the basic defenses of muscle are worthless against it. Killing becomes casually easy in with a Shardblade. You could cut through their fortifications like it's nothing as well. 

Overall, while it might be somewhat exaggerated in value, they would still be massive assets in a battle capable of reaping through enemies before they even got close to you. Keep in mind, that much of the description we get of the value of Shardblades comes from Vorin culture which are likely to mystify them even more like they do Soulcasters. For comparison the Makabak nations utilize them for their cutting utility. Also, if it's broad enough like Oathbringer for example it could be used as an impromptu shield because they are effectively indestructible

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It is important for fighting capabilities, but they are also just rare and beautiful. You would say a painting has no actual value at all, it is just something nice to look at and brag about. Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, currently valued  at about 860 million USD, and the Salvatore Mundi, currently valued at about 450 million USD.

After some brief research, São Tomé and Príncipe currently has a total net worth of about 470 million USD. That means the Mona Lisa could buy a country, or in this case a kingdom.
There are several other nations that are valued at about 2 billion, so they could be largely bought by the Mona Lisa, and some nations l haven’t released any economy info in a long time, but they are expected to be low.

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13 hours ago, StanLemon said:

You pointed out the whole reason Adolin says Shardwielders can't hold ground. Alone it isn't overwhelming no, but in a conflict between any equal force except that one side has a Shardblade and the other doesn't will almost certainly end in favor of the side with the Shardblade. While tactics exist to try and swam and take out Shardwielders as early as possible, the wielder will almost always be highly protected. Roshar has full plate armor or at least close to it, someone wearing that would be very hard to kill before they could kill you with the Blade. Multiple times we've seen a single swipe kill multiple soldiers casually because armor or even the basic defenses of muscle are worthless against it. Killing becomes casually easy in with a Shardblade. You could cut through their fortifications like it's nothing as well. 

Overall, while it might be somewhat exaggerated in value, they would still be massive assets in a battle capable of reaping through enemies before they even got close to you. Keep in mind, that much of the description we get of the value of Shardblades comes from Vorin culture which are likely to mystify them even more like they do Soulcasters. For comparison the Makabak nations utilize them for their cutting utility. Also, if it's broad enough like Oathbringer for example it could be used as an impromptu shield because they are effectively indestructible

You actually bring up a pretty good point in that plate armor should keep a person safe enough from normal attacks that they have the opportunity to attack with a shardblade, which would bypass other normal armor. I suppose I was just thinking of shardplate and how awesome it is, and completely forgot that regular non-invested armor can still be very useful.

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42 minutes ago, Trusk'our said:

You actually bring up a pretty good point in that plate armor should keep a person safe enough from normal attacks that they have the opportunity to attack with a shardblade, which would bypass other normal armor. I suppose I was just thinking of shardplate and how awesome it is, and completely forgot that regular non-invested armor can still be very useful.

Yeah, if I hadn't reread WoK recently I might have forgotten too. Shardplate is just so good it's easy to forget other armors exist. :)

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Chinkoln touched on this too but there is also simply the scarcity: there are only so many in existence and, up until the present anyway, more can't be made.  that touches on the most basic economic principle: supply and demand

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