Vlad the Impaler
504742 1
Weapons Kilij, Halberd, Steel Crossbow, Hand Cannon
Origin Wallacia (Romania)
Activities Defeating the Turks
Service 1431-1486
Battle Status Won vs. Sun Tzu
Experts Vaclav Havlik (Medieval Sword Master)

Brahm Gallagher (Vlad Historian)

"Vlad had no remorse. He killed without any hesitation. He chose the most cruel ways to kill.

- Vaclav Havlik, medieval sword master

Vlad the Impaler, the medieval Romanian prince whose insatiable thirst for blood inspired the legend of Dracula.

Sun Tzu, the ruthless Chinese warmonger whose revolutionary "Art of War" led to the massacre of millions.



  • 1431 - 1476
  • Height - 5' 9"
  • Weight - 170 lbs,
  • Armor - Plated mailShield
  • Symbol - Heraldic Dragon (Vlad's last name Dracula means son of the dragon)


Vlad was born in Sighișoara, Transylvania, in the winter of 1431 to Vlad II Dracul, future voivopde of Wallachia and son of the celebrated Voivode Mircea the Elder. His mother is believed to be the second wife of Vlad Dracul: Princess Cneajna of Moldavia. He had two older half-brothers, Mircea II and Vlad Călugărul (aka Vlad IV), and a younger brother, Radu III the Fair.</p>

The 1400s was the peak of the Ottoman–Hungarian Wars, which had Wallachia as one of Hungary's strongest rivals even outside of Vlad III's reign.

In the year of his birth Vlad's father, known under the nickname Dracul, had traveled to Nuremberg where he had been vested into the Order of the Dragon. At the age of five, young Vlad was also initiated into the Order.</p>

In 1436, Vlad II Dracul ascended the throne of Wallachia. He was ousted in 1442 by rival factions in league with Hungary, but secured Ottoman support for his return agreeing to pay the Jizya (tax on non-Muslims) to the Sultan and also send his two legitimate sons, Vlad III and Radu, to the Ottoman court, to serve as hostages of his royalty.</p>

Vlad III was imprisoned and often whipped and beaten because of his verbal abuse towards his trainers and his stubborn behavior. These years presumably had a great influence on Vlad's character and led to Vlad's well-known hatred for the Ottoman Turks, the Janissary, his brother Radu for converting to Islam and the young Ottoman prince Mehmed II (even after he became sultan). He was envious of his father's preference for his elder brother, Mircea II and half brother, Vlad Călugărul. He also distrusted the Hungarians and his own father for trading him to the Turks and betraying the Order of the Dragon's oath to fight the Ottoman Empire.</p>

Vlad was later released under probation and taken to be educated in logic, the Quran and the Turkish and Persian languages and works of literature. He would speak these languages fluently in his later years. He and his brother were also trained in warfare and riding horses. The boys' father, Vlad Dracul, was awarded the support of the Ottomans and returned to Wallachia and took back his throne from Basarab II and some unfaithful Boyars.</p>

Even during his lifetime, Vlad III Țepeș became famous as a tyrant taking sadistic pleasure in torturing and killing. After Vlad's death, his cruel deeds were reported with macabre gusto in popular pamphlets in Germany, reprinted from the 1480s until the 1560s, and to a lesser extent in Tsarist Russia.</p>

Estimates for number of his victims ranges from 40,000 to 100,000. According to the German stories the number of victims he had killed was at least 80,000. In addition to the 80,000 victims mentioned he also had whole villages and fortresses destroyed and burned to the ground.</p>

Impalement was Vlad's preferred method of torture and execution. Several of the woodcut from the German pamphlets of the late 15th and early 16th centuries show Vlad feasting in a forest of stakes and their grisly burdens outside Brașov, while a nearby executioner cuts apart other victims. It was reported that an invading Ottoman army turned back in fright when it encountered a forest of impaled corpses along the Danube River.

It has also been said that in 1462 Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, a man noted for his own psychological warfare tactics, returned to Constantinople after being sickened by the sight of 20,000 impaled corpses outside Vlad's capital of Târgoviște.

Vlad was also known for his use of Guerilla tactics and ambushes to resist the larger Ottoman army. On the night of June 17, 1462; Vlad ambushed the Ottoman camp at Târgovişte. Vlad himself entered the camp in disguise and located the Sultan's tent. He then sent his cavalry to strike the eastern part of the camp: but this was a diversion, and Vlad attacked from the west. The Sultan managed to escape the assassination attempt, but the raid was a success.

Vlad approached the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus for assistance against the Ottomans. However, the Saxons presented Matthias with a letter allegedly written by Vlad Dracula to Sultan Mehmed, in which the Prince offered his support to the Ottomans. Convinced of Vlad Dracula's treachery, Matthias had him imprisoned. The Ottomans themselves were oblivious to the arrest of Vlad and did not exploit this.

Vlad was killed shortly into his 3rd reign as Prince of Wallachia. There's debate over if Vlad was assassinated or died in battle, but his murdered corpse was decapitated and his head impaled by the Ottomans. In 1515, 35 years after his death, Wallacia finally was defeated by the Ottomans and became a vassal of the Ottoman Empire.</p>

The Ottoman–Habsburg wars had the Catholic House of Habsburg conquer Transylvania from the Ottomans with the Treaty of Karlowitz in 26 January 1699. However Romanians resisted the Hasburgs and with the Treaty of Szatmár on 29 April 1711 the Principality of Transylvania was formed.

Romania would spend much of its modern history under foreign occupation or influence; Austria-Hungary between 1867-1918, the Axis Powers during WWII, the Soviet Union 1947–1989 (staying with the Warsaw Pact until 1991) and NATO since 29 March 2004.

Allegedly, the reputation of Vlad's cruelty was actively promoted by Matthias Corvinus, who tarnished Vlad’s reputation and credibility for a political reason: as an explanation for why he had not helped Vlad fight the Ottomans in 1462, for which purpose he had received money from most Catholic states in Europe. Matthias employed the charges of Southeastern Transylvania, and produced fake letters of high treason, written on 7 November 1462.


The Kilij is a curved single edged Turkic sword, because of the curved blade it makes it a good chopping and hacking weapon.

The Halberd is a poleaxe. This weapon consists of an axe blade topped with a spike mounted on a long shaft. It has a hook or a thorn on the back side of the axe. It can hack/chop, thrust/stab, and hook the enemy.

The Hand Cannon is a portable mini cannon. This firearm can fire either pebbles or shaped iron or stone balls, & has a sharp steel spike for use at close range.

Short Range Kilij
Mid Range Halberd
Long Range Steel Crossbow
Special Weapons Hand Cannon

Deadliest Warrior: Legends weaponsEdit

Short Range: Kilij, Turko-Mongol Saber

Medium Range: Military fork, Ranseur

Long Range: Steel Crossbow, Javelin

Armor: Wallachian Robes, Chain Mail Coat

Joke Weapon: Farmer's Pitch Fork (which replicates Vlad's mid-ranged weapon)

Finishing move: He strikes his adversary's throat, causing him to retreat while Vlad advances with his military fork/ ranseur/ pitchfork and runs it through his opponent and raises it up, balancing it on the ground, and leaves his still writhing opponent.

Simulated BattleEdit

The battle starts out with Vlad sneaking up to Sun Tzu's campsite, where Sun Tzu has sat himself down to a cup of tea. Close by, Vlad sets his shield into the ground and readies his hand cannon, firing a shot which destroys the general's teapot. Vlad laughs as he has taken the general off guard, but Sun Tzu raises his repeating crossbow and gets off a few shots and runs away. Vlad ducks behind his shield but is struck in the shoulder. Relatively unharmed, Vlad pulls out the bolt and readies his hand cannon again, but Sun Tzu is nowhere to be seen.

Collecting his effects (a steel helmet, his shield, and his halberd), Vlad runs off searching for Sun Tzu. But the general is not far away as he gets the drop on Vlad by shooting him from a tree with a flaming arrow. The Son of the Dragon is thrown to the ground by the force of the shot, but still remains relatively unharmed as he scrambles to his feet while putting out the small fire. Sun Tzu jumps down from the tree, but is promptly stabbed in the thigh by Vlad's halberd. Sun Tzu yells in pain and strikes the halberd with the edge of his hand, breaking it at the head which astonishes Vlad. Sun Tzu kicks Vlad in the face while he is still distracted and pulls out the halberd, hobbling away as Vlad gets back up and collects his helmet and shield again.

Not far away, Sun Tzu pulls out a spare armor set and a zhua hidden underneath fallen foliage. Above him, The Impaler watches him, preparing his steel crossbow. Vlad walks a little ways and sees the general's armor nearby and takes his shot. The armor falls over and Vlad goes to investigate, only to find that he shot a decoy. The real Sun Tzu then jumps down, disarming Vlad from his shield using the zhua. Vlad dodges another swing from the zhua and draws his kilij, slashing General Tzu across the midsection as he recovers. The general falls back again, as Vlad pulls off his gauntlet, revealing that the zhua managed to cut his forearm. The enraged Prince of Darkness picks up his kilij and charges General Tzu, who pulls out his jian and clashes with the warrior king. Both warriors cross swords until Vlad severs both of General Tzu's hands at the wrist. The general drops to his knees as The Impaler raises his sword over his head, but stops in mid-swing from decapitating his victim. Grinning wildly with an evil laugh, Vlad Tepes Dracula has other ideas for the fallen general.

A shot of the Wallachian countryside is shown as terrible sounds and screaming are heard offscreen. When the camera cuts back to the warriors, it is revealed that Vlad has impaled the defeated Sun Tzu on a large stake. Vlad places his sword in front of his face as an act of respect towards his fallen enemy and gives a loud victory roar as he raises his kilij in the air.

Expert's Opinion Edit

The reason why Vlad won was because most of his weapons, especially the kilij, were superior to Sun Tzu's arsenal, (with the exception of Sun Tzu's repeating crossbow against Vlad's steel crossbow) as well as the fact Vlad was a more seasoned and experienced fighter and Sun Tzu was more of a strategist and scholar. 


  • The English Queen Elizabeth II claims to be the decedent of Vlad IV (brother of Vlad the Impaler). This is due to her grandmother Mary of Teck. [1]
  • Vlad was a great tactician, always taking advantage of the surroundings to full extent, because he was always outnumbered by his enemies (especially the Ottomans, about 7 to 1 on average). He was also cunning and great at deceiving the enemy; and even known for going himself with a small contingent disguised as the enemy, slipping behind their lines and taking them out on several occasions. Vlad was in real life the gatekeeper of Europe. He stopped countless invasion attempts of the Ottoman Empire.
  • In Deadliest Warrior: Legends, Vlad's introduction is that he drinks from a golden goblet before he drops it (and sometimes it lands right side up) and laughs. According to legend, Vlad allowed golden cups to stand in the center of city plazas, as he knew no one would dare steal such a treasure under his rule (and none of the cups were ever stolen). The towns feared that Vlad would destroy the town to capture the thief.
  • The Chinese King Goujian of Yue was a similar extreme military general, ordering the forced-suicide of thousands of criminals and POWs in front of the enemy army before a battle.

  • Vlad (like some other Gun Powder Warriors) could debatably be a modern warrior, due to his Hand Cannon, but to some, he is still considered an ancient warrior since the rest of his weapons are non-black powder. If to be considered a modern warrior, he'll then be the second modern warrior to face an ancient one, the first when the pirate battled the knight.
  • Vlad and Sun Tzu are the only warriors wearing either formal wear or body armor throughout their episode.
  • According to an online poll, Vlad the Impaler was the most popular ancient celebrity on Deadliest Warrior.
  • Vlad reappeared in the Vampire/Zombie episode as the inspiration of the most famous vampire—Dracula.
  • Sun Tzu's leather lamellar armor was shown to be able to resist a steel crossbow. In actuality, the leather managed to absorb the bolt because the Vlad experts were using broadhead bolts than the traditional needlepoint and armor breaker bolts, which were known to penetrate plate armor and no doubt would have penetrate Chinese lamellar armor.
  • It is the second match-up that involved amputation (the first being the battle between the Somali Pirates and the Medellin Cartel) and the only match-up where in the final simulation the defeated warrior was finished by a weapon not on the Warrior's official list (although the Kilij did technically defeat SunTzu).