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Monday, March 10, 2014

Rethinking Rank 3 Attack Epics


With the Marleybone and Aquila update came the release of Rank 3 epics. Some seem incredibly overpowered, while others seem useless. I recently did some gold retrains to try out some of these epics with Destiny, and came to some interesting conclusions. Here's what I learned about each of the Rank 3 talents and what I think about their usefulness.

I'm going to talk about these epics in three posts: First, attack epics. Then, response epics. And finally, movement epics.


Relentless, Burst Fire, and Mojo Echo

These are the top talents out there. Any companion that can train this talent does. In fact, any companion that can train the third version of this usually does. Why? Because it's one of the few talents that are triggered from your own hits, though you can't control it as easily as some others. It only has a 35% chance of activating, so you do need other epic talents to make it function to its maximum potential.

Having the third version of this talent is almost always a good idea. The few exceptions I can think of are Old Scratch, because Improved Mojo Blast 2 is of greater use than Mojo Echo 3, and possibly Argos, as his Relentless 3 just doesn't trigger often enough with just Vengeance Strike 1. The third version increases the chances of activating the epic based on the unit's health - the closer it is to zero, the more damage is done. This probably uses the same curve as Bonnie's Second Wind, as it can increase chances by up to 25%, meaning you could have up to a 60% chance of activating Burst Fire not including buffs (which can add an additional 25%, meaning a 85% chance that that epic will activate), so that's definitely a solid path to choose.


Second Chance, Quick Adjust, and Jobu's Ruse

These are some of the more controversial talents because they don't give you extra hits. In fact, they rely specifically on you missing. In my opinion, these can be great for companions who have below-par accuracy, but others will choose to ignore them entirely. I personally like Second Chance on my Hoodoo Cornelius. He's already very inaccurate, but I like to use him for lower-level farming and some higher-level Musketeer battles. And Quick Adjust already comes on Nausica, but you'll notice that it makes a killer combination by filling the holes in her Burst Fire chains.

The third version of these epics increases your accuracy by 15 points each time you miss, meaning you could add an additional 45 accuracy. Given that companions usually have between 100 and 150 accuracy and dodge, that's pretty significant. The catch is that it only lasts for that one round, meaning you could greatly increase your chances of hitting over-buffed companions on a Privateer's team, but other than that, chances are that you'd need other triggers to make real use of it. Ultimately, then, I have to say no to these group of talents beyond Rank 1, so I'm certainly avoiding Rank 3.


Blade Storm, Double Tap, and Mojo Rising

Ah, the last of the triggers that are largely affecting by your doing. These come standard on many companions, and are oftentimes available on others. With these, you get an additional hit if you defeat an enemy. That should be an immediate red flag, because battles have between two and five enemies in them on average. That means you have two to four chances for this to activate the entire battle. That's not a very good number. Then again, think of talents like First Strike, Quick Draw, and Intuition. They can activate many, many times per battle, but rely on the units being one of five classes (which some overlap and First Strike affecting three of five classes). If that type of unit isn't in the battle (Witchdoctor enemies are pretty rare, but there are some battles with all of one type of unit), then that epic isn't of use at all.

The third version of these gives a bonus sneak attack (meaning no epics are triggered) when you defeat an enemy. Personally, I don't train past the version already trained on the companion. I won't even get the first rank of these talents except maybe in the case of my crab companions. So the third version? No question - I'm not interested.

Potential Improvements?

Some of these powers are popular, some are situational, and some are, quite frankly, useless in most cases. Do you have ideas on how rank 3 epics could be improved to make them better choices over other triggers? Or are some already too powerful? Let me know by commenting!

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Destiny for helping me test out some of these epics! Thanks for Angel Ice, Jason Goldenshield, Sheldon, Storm, Dead-Eye Collin, and Kyle Spirit for assistance with pictures.  **One or more card images in this post has been edited because it cannot be viewed yet.

3 comments:

  1. Mmmm....

    I can't say I'm too impressed with this post. I felt like this too subjective rather than being objective (but you already made that clear in the first paragraph). What I would have prefered is if you could have gone through more sets like (Flanking, Cross-fire, and the unnamed one for Witchdoctors), (Cheap Shot, Parting Shot, and Coward's Bane), (Repel Borders, Readied Spell, Overwatch), (Hold the Line) etc.

    Also, I felt like your post reiterated what the majority of the Pirate101 player's feel. Relentless, Mojo Echo, and Burst Fire are almost always -scratch that- are always held over any other stat. Every thing else is pretty much just extra. I guess I would've liked to see a bit of a different viewpoint and a bit more positive light shown on the less used Epics. I also wish you could've have at least mentioned the Rank 3 versions of Blade Storm, Double Tap, and Mojo Rising, which assuming by Blade Storm, may all provide a stun.

    I would suggest maybe continuing with some of the other Epics and revealing some of there usefulness. But because you said this was a review on attack, response, and movement epics, this was going to be limited anyway.

    I don't think I would change too much about the current set up about the current set up on epics. I think they provide some kind of different effect to help add variety to the game.

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    1. That's fair - every post is an experiment and you don't know how an audience will react until you present it to them.

      That being said, I think you have some misconceptions about the post's goals. It's not objective - if it were, it'd be called a guide. This is how you use those epics according to my experience. The reason that likely reflects the community is because they have it right in most cases. Of course, as I mention in the second paragraph, I'll be covering all epics, and I intend to take some of the most popular ones that people use on Catbeard and Nausica and so on and explain why they're useless, and then take some of the least popular ones, and explain why they're so useful. I'm even going to give you a few specific numbers that you probably don't know yet on some of the effects, and going to place the importance of a few epics even over Relentless and its counterparts.

      This was originally going to be a 3,000-word post, but I felt like that was a little too heavy if I wasn't going to do an expanded article. But the way I divided it up had to make sense, so some of the less exciting epics had to go together here.

      The Rank 3 versions of Blade Storm, Double Tap, and Mojo Rising are included in this post, as well as their cards. They provide a bonus sneak attack (no epics triggered) up to three times per round upon defeating an enemy.

      The "attack, response, and movement epics" actually encompasses all rank 3 epics, but I needed to generalize to fit them into only three categories.

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    2. Oh, okay. That makes a bit more sense to me now. I think I did miss read a few of your words. I wasn't under the impression that you were doing 3 seperate posts and this was just the 1 post. Thanks for the explanation.

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