These companions that you received back in Cool Ranch have far more potential than you may think – in fact, they were regularly used in PvP even at Level 65!
Prior to Nausica’s release, Musketeers ruled the arena; seeing three companions of this single class on a team wasn’t uncommon at all. At this phase of PvP, the standard team was Bonnie Anne, Zeena, and a Magnificent Seven companion, which was nearly an unstoppable force. However, faced with the possibility of going up against Nausica, choosing at least one melee companion may be a good idea – the Magnificent Seven are now frequently swapped out for Hawkules, El Toro, a Starter companion, etc.
However, are these companions still worthwhile? Are they still viable to have on your PvP team?
Bat Masterson seems to be the “odd one out” of this group of companions – he’s the only non-Musketeer, and his Epic pool is a bit underwhelming. As he is a Privateer, who aren’t as strong as Buccaneers or Swashbucklers in the arena, he might not be quite useful in PvP. In PvE, however, he is much more helpful.
A useful Epic Bat can train is Witch Hunter, allowing him to strike first against Witchdoctor enemies. This attack will have increased damage AND reduce the incoming damage of the attack that triggered it – therefore, it will severely hinder Witchdoctor enemies. Once again, in PvP, this may not be as useful – your opponent would simply not make their Witchdoctor units attack your units with Witch Hunter.
In PvE, however, enemies aren’t as smart. If you move Bat so that he is adjacent to several Witchdoctor enemies, Witch Hunter will be able to activate three times a round, as long as you have rank two trained on him. Pesky Satyrs and Ophidian Flame Dancers will become much easier for Witchdoctor Pirates, who would normally struggle against these enemies – just bring Bat into these battles, and you’ll find them much more straightforward.
Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane Canary
These two companions take anti-Musketeering to a whole new level – True Grit is what makes them shine. They do not, however, have Burst Fire to back it up, and the rest of their Epic pools are a bit lacking – abilities like Quick Adjust, Return Fire, and Parting Shot aren’t some of the best. They can, however, train True Grit 3, which can occasionally stun an enemy.
Say the opponent was using a unit such as Bonnie Anne, who has Quick Draw trained. If she would approach one of these two companions, their Overwatch ability would activate, triggering Bonnie’s Quick Draw. This has the opportunity to Burst Fire, so, when she is done attacking, Overwatch AND the three True Grits would activate, severely hindering the opposing unit. Bill or Jane would be down on health, however, but taking out the toughest unit in the fight would make it acceptable to sacrifice a unit of your own.
With Nausica out in play, however, Buffalo Bill and Jane Canary have been overshadowed. She is normally found with True Grit 3, just like these two companions, with the addition of Burst Fire 2. If their Overwatch activates against her, Nausica’s True Grit and Burst Fire abilities would almost completely take out Bill or Jane from the fight.
Nevertheless, Bill and Jane are still great anti-Musketeers in the arena. However, be sure to keep in mind that they are better used against Bonnie, Zeena, and other Magnificent 7 companions than against Nausica.
Billy the Kid
Billy the Kid is a bit different from the other Musketeers, mainly due to his absence of True Grit in his Epic pool. He can, however, train Burst Fire 2, which makes him into a fairly offensive Musketeer. Considering Nausica’s use in the arena, choosing his last Epic is a bit more difficult than it would seem.
Billy could train Quick Draw 2, but doing so is practically asking for him to be shot down by Nausica. It does minimal damage to her, yet allows her to strike back with three True Grit attacks, as well as up to three Burst Fires. He can train Double Tap or Parting Shot, but the question arises… are those Epics really worthwhile? It may be best to give him Double Tap, allowing him to finish off weakened units.
Keep in mind that the main decision to use a Magnificent 7 companion would be to take advantage of their ability to be anti-Musketeers. Billy the Kid, unfortunately, isn’t made to be a strict anti-Musketeer, but more like a slightly weaker version of Bonnie Anne. He may not be able to fit on a PvP team, then, especially with the risk of the opponent choosing Nausica. However, at lower level matches, he certainly isn’t a bad choice at all.
Duck Holliday and Wild Bill Peacock
After reading through the previous four companions, the Magnificent 7 may not seem worthwhile. However, we hope you agree with us when we say that we’re saving the best two for last – Duck Holliday and Wild Bill Peacock.
Wild Bill is arguably the best of the entire group, since he has both Burst Fire and True Grit in his Epic pool. As he starts with Burst Fire, he can train Burst Fire 2 and True Grit 2 by his final tier. Think about Nausica for a moment – the common build for her is Burst Fire 2 and True Grit 3. Disregarding her powers for a moment, aren’t they nearly the same companion, Epic-wise?
Duck Holliday has practically the same Epic pool, but what makes Bill slide ahead of him are their starting Epics. Duck starts with Quick Draw, which normally wouldn’t be chosen as an Epic for him – sadly, starting Epics can’t be removed, so we have to work with what he has. The best builds for him seem to be Quick Draw 1, Burst Fire 2, and True Grit 1, or Quick Draw 1, Burst Fire 1, and True Grit 2. Giving him the second one, with a second rank of True Grit, may be the better approach, as it makes him anti-Musketeer functional as well as slightly offensive.
Is there space for them in PvP?
This is the overall question here, and the most definite answer to it is “it depends on the companion”. Not all of them are cut out for PvP – Bat Masterson certainly isn’t, Billy the Kid isn’t quite up there, and Buffalo Bill as well as Jane Canary can easily get themselves defeated against Nausica. Duck Holliday and Wild Bill Peacock, however? If you don’t have Crown Shop companions (such as Goronado) or Bundle companions (specifically Nausica) available to you, these two are definitely worth considering to use in the arena.
You can try to swap out Bonnie Anne for Wild Bill (or possibly Duck Holiday), since having Quick Draw 2 and Burst Fire 2 trained on her is no longer such a good choice. Duck and Bill could surpass her at this phase, so having a team of Bill or Duck, Zeena, and a strong Buccaneer is worth trying out. If you know that your opponent isn’t going to use Nausica, using Bonnie, Zeena, and a Magnificent 7 companion is definitely your best bet.
For Wild Bill, especially, play him as you would Nausica, without rushing him in – use him to trigger enemy Quick Draw attacks, and watch him counter with three True Grits and up to three Burst Fires. He will easily drop an unsuspecting Bonnie Anne with Quick Draw 2, and, if you can get him close enough, he will severely weaken an opposing Musketeer pirate. He’s basically a second Nausica without Centaur’s Charge, so be sure to keep him protected so that he lasts for most of the fight – Privateers recruit him, after all!
If you’re looking to invest in a Crown Shop companion, you may be interested in purchasing Wild Bill to substitute in for Bonnie Anne – his True Grit 2 seems to work much more efficiently than Bonnie Anne’s Double Tap, Quick Draw, and Overwatch.
If you’re PvPing against a friend, simply asking “Are you using Nausica?” makes practically any of the five Musketeers viable choices, but, with the threat of that Centaur Queen, you shouldn’t risk using just any of them if you’re not sure what companions your opponent is going to play. Duck Holliday and Wild Bill Peacock are likely your best two choices out of the group, and don’t be afraid to use them! You may be surprised with how well they work in the arena.