I think John is the luckiest Spartan, but that is for a variety of reasons. I think it's some combination of intangible qualities that Halsey or Cortana cannot place a name on, so they attribute it to luck. Perhaps there is a good degree of random chance that falls in John's favor, but the fact that John is a jack of all trades solider, with great intuition, great leadership skills, never gives up and refuses to lose, happens to tips the scale in his favor more often than the average person "just gets lucky". --- can i haz recon plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Didn't take the time to read this whole thread, but you can think of it this way.
Master Chief is the "Mario" of the Spartans. In most Mario & friends games, Mario is just middle-of-the-road in every aspect. Bowswer/DK, etc. are usually the strongest, Yoshi/Toad, etc. are usually the fastest, Luigi generally jumps higher. Mario isn't the best at anything, but he's good at everything.
Although John is the best at winning. He always wins. He also has excellent leadership skills. --- Halo 1 LAN vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhjWnJU2EKY Number of times Killean_Nuggets has invalidated someone's post based solely on their Halo skill: 7
Spartan I's were high level soldiers of the insurrection given a "super soldier syrum" to make them even better. Never received any special armor. Source - I love bees pre halo 2 campaign.
Spartan II's - given the supersoldier syrum as a child, went through excruciating training, given the best everything, including the MJOLNIR armor.
Spartan III's - an Army ripoff of the Navy's Spartan II program, meant to be cheaply produced fire and forget missile troops. Mostly teenagers, the Spartan III program didn't take the time or effort to sort through to find perfect candidates. Just injected them with super soldier syrum, gave them a quick one year ish training, gave them semi-powered infiltrator armor (spi armor,didnt offer much protection but had goodies like partial active camo, other armor abilities, etc) Source - Ghosts of Onyx
Spartan IV's - Very similar to the Spartan I program, High level soldiers throughout the UNSC are given the super soldier syrum to allow them to wear a MJOLNIR based armor type of their specialization. No special training involved, except training in the war games simulator.
As far as Masterchief, John-117, as the previous guy stated, in Fall of Reach he's described as being particularly average among spartans in every category. He's not the fastest, not the strongest, nor the smartest. His three exemplary qualities though are leadership, luck, and the desire to win at any cost. The last of these is why he survives, because he is particularly good at winning. --- nothing can be seen if nothing is there. You never saw me, I was never here. GT: MrFantastic205
While an interesting discussion, you guys are looking at this from the wrong perspective.
Halo is first and foremost a video game, Master Chief is a protagonist controlled by the player. So in all the MANY absurd situations he survives, the only legitimate outcome is that he succeeds, because the story assumes the player will within the context of the game.
Arguing about it being luck is ignoring that it has nothing to do with luck, it is more like pre-destination in a combined effort of the developers and the subjective experiences of each player. The lore has to accommodate this in some feasible way, thus the nebulous idea of Chief being "lucky." --- Don't get mad at people that are smarter than you, they can't help it.
And in answer to your actual question, before he died, Sam-034 was the strongest of the Spartan-IIs (and thereby probably the strongest Spartan). --- Halo 1 LAN vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhjWnJU2EKY Number of times Killean_Nuggets has invalidated someone's post based solely on their Halo skill: 7
I didn't read every single post but he isn't the luckiest, strongest or fastest. Theres always someone stronger or faster or smarterm and more durable.
MC is in the middle. He doesnt excel at any particular trait or ability but has a high enough level in each including luck which ultimately makes him the best. Well the best all around Spartan and He's a good leader.