What I mean by "reputation" is what the people in-universe say about the Elites and what they do when it comes to Elites.Ado Ulamee wrote:True, but the Sangheili were in charge of military matters, not the san shyuum. We saw they disliked the idea of the Unggoy joining the armed forces as proper foot soldiers after the Unggoy rebellion.However, the Writ of Union decreed that military matters were not their job, thus they relented. As for their reputation, would say as others have and that it just depends on the Sangheili at the time. You will have warriors like Fal 'Chavamee who wiped out an army, to Vil 'Kthamee, whose talent laid with Huragok communication and being more keen with observations. Outside of that he appeared pretty average.
Given everything that's been said so far: I would have to find it utterly laughable that ONI and Parangosky ever felt the need to sabotage Sanghelios with Kilo-5 and that Irukan bio-weapon stuff. Because, apparently, all you have to do is drop ten Spartans with a single knife at their disposal on Sanghelios, and they'll conquer the planet in three weeks or less.
Hell, drop two marine platoons on Sanghelios and they'll get the job done in a month, according to FordFalcon1997.
In The Mona Lisa, the marines talk a lot about not taking chances with unarmored, unarmed Sangheili, with one of them even commenting that such an Elite can easily overpower anyone... but then there's the Arbiter's fight with Johnson and Miranda in Halo 2, where Thel seems like he's more in-line with an Orc from Lord of the Rings.
You have Yevgenny from Dirt, in Evolutions, stating Spartan-IIs and Elites to be "equals"... but then there's Headhunters in the same book... and the Spartan-IIIs in SPI armor making it look downright leisurely in Ghosts of Onyx... and the cutscene where Ripa gets made a joke of and three Spartans stonewall dozens of Elites... and where John crushes a Spec-Ops Elite's skull with his hand (completely out-of-the-blue and where he'd shown no ability to do so previously, by the way), in The Flood...
Everyone in the Halo universe seems to talk the Elites up something fierce, but nothing actually happens to lend any of that a single shred of credence. If anything, all of that praise should be getting thrown at the Brutes, for everything we've been shown. But it doesn't. The UNSC and ONI get themselves up in a tizzy over winning over the Swords of Sanghelios and/or keeping the Elites at-arms-reach, but given everything that's been said, one struggles to wonder why! Are the Elites dangerous or not? Are they in the ballpark of Spartans, or are they glorified ODSTs? All of the characters act and talk as though it's the former, but things always end up displaying the latter!