Xun Yu was someone who had the capabilities of being a prime minister. When the warlord Dong Zhuo seized control of the capital Luoyang, Xun Yu feared for his safety and resigned, returning to Ji Province.
In the subsequent years, warlords quickly rose in each region. Xun Yu first served Yuan Shao, whose power base was in Ji Province. However, Xun Yu later left him and went to serve Cao Cao in 191. At the later stages, he opposed Cao Cao from getting the title of Duke Wei, and he was removed from the core and fell sick. He was only 50 when he died.
In terms of strategy, Xun Yu had helped Cao Cao set the blueprints for unifying the north.
In terms of fighting, Xun Yu also did well. In 194, when Cao Cao led a campaign against Tao Qian in Xu Province, his home base at Yan Province was suddenly attacked by Lü Bu, and two of Cao’s officials, Chen Gong and Zhang Miao, chose to defect to Lü Bu. At that time, Xun Yu was in charge of the defenses of Juancheng, and his firm actions saved the city from capture, allowing Cao Cao’s armies to return and drive away Lü Bu.
In terms of administrative rule, Xun Yu recommended many talents to Cao Cao and formed his core talent pool, building up the economic and administrative system of the Cao Cao camp.
Xun Yu had made many contributions to Cao Cao and was said to be Cao Cao’s Zi Fang. Unfortunately, Xun Yu missed the Han Regime and had a fall out with the ambitious Cao Cao in the end.