Future Companions: What Can We Expect? Part 2

Aug 27, 2014

Last week we discussed the Starter, Kraken Skulls, and Presidio 5 blocks of companions. In this week’s post, we’ll take a closer look at Old Scratch, Ratbeard, Monkey King, Gracie Conrad, Catbeard, and Hawkules… how can they be improved and what can we expect from them in the future?

What About Bonnie Anne and El Toro?

Bonnie and Toro are already excellent companions – they’re practically considered the best Musketeer and Swashbuckler units in the game! Bonnie can continuously fire away at an enemy, attack approaching ones, and hit before other Musketeers get the chance to, plus she can lower the dodge of enemies, heal, and get a free attack in whenever she dodges a melee hit!

El Toro is not only the ideal Swashbuckler, being able to train multiple tiers of Relentless and/or Riposte, but his buff helps to support your entire team! In Marleybone/Aquila especially, where you may find it a bit more difficult to land hits or dodge attacks, having an extra Espirit de Corps can be game changing. He may not have a Guaranteed Critical Hit or any other attack powers yet… but that could definitely change in the future!

As for the other universal companions, they could all use some improvements in their next promotions. Let’s break down how useful they currently are and what the future could hold!

Old Scratch and Ratbeard

We recruit these two companions early into the storyline – all the way back in Skull Island! We don’t recruit many other Witchdoctors, so Old Scratch works great as a universal companion. Using Witchdoctors seems to be a matter of personal playstyle; for some, having such fragile units with low health, accuracy, and dodge might not be the best option. However, if properly protected, Old Scratch (and other WDs!) can be a great damage dealer. Upgrading his minion spell might be a good idea, but the Bone Drake might not necessarily be better than the Skeleton Corsair. A simple solution would be granting him both, and perhaps bringing back the Skeleton Pirate, so that he works as a “minion summoner” to help give you an advantage early on in the fight.

Ratbeard just promoted back in Marleybone, so he already has some cool improvements – he can reduce the accuracy of enemies, protect himself, AND knock them back (if you’re a Musketeer, that’s a great way to make use of your bomb powers!) Simply upgrading his protection power to the next rank would be a great way to improve him, along with upgrading his accuracy reduction power so that it grants increased movement as well. Ratbeard’s a great example of a melee companion who doesn’t need Relentless to be great. Perhaps he could even train a “Team Epic!” power that gives First Strike or Vengeance Strike for 3 rounds!

Monkey King and Hawkules

Both Monkey King and Hawkules are completely different than other mainline companions of their same class, namely El Toro and Ratbeard. Monkey King doesn’t have Relentless in his epic pool at all, while it’s likely Hawkules’ greatest asset. We’re generally used to Swashbucklers with Relentless – First Strike, Riposte, and more can only trigger against other melee units, while Relentless can trigger against anyone. While Monkey King can train Second Chance, it’s not giving him much of an advantage against Musketeers and Witchdoctors. Second Chance isn’t necessarily an extra hit in general – just making up for a missed one, and, while this is helpful on a Swashbuckler, it does make him fall behind a bit. Hidden powers are being improved in the Test Realm, and they do seem to work well with Monkey King’s theme – a trickster, and what better way to trick the enemies than to hide your entire team? Black Fog may seem a bit scary at first, especially with the lack of counters to it, but keep in mind that he likely won’t be promoting until Book 16 or 17 – that gives plenty of time for new strategies to arise against hidden while Monkey King will be able to give your team a huge boost against unexpecting enemies!

Hawkules is definitely in his starting stages, and he’s bound to get much better – he already started off with the ability to train Relentless 3, and is likely one of the toughest companions on your crew. He could use some more armor to reinforce this, like Subodai. An epic that we’re seeing on Test Realm (and one that’s already available on pets) is Merciless – this works similarly to Relentless, but it will only trigger on severely wounded enemies and is intended to deal the finishing blow. It’s never any fun when an enemy is left with just a few hundred health left at the end of the round… a creative epic like this on Hawkules could easily fix this!

Gracie Conrad and Catbeard

Both are Privateers, yet complete opposites of one another – Gracie’s strength comes within her War Golem, Mine power, and Vengeance Strike, while Catbeard shines through his Relentless and the occasional Riposte. After using both her powers, Gracie won’t be able to deal damage so easily – she will have to rely on taking hits, which can be a very dangerous risk. Since Vengeance Strike will likely be her main way of attacking aside from her normal hit, protection is crucial, as she isn’t as armored as a Buccaneer or as dodgy as a Swashbuckler. A simple protection power will fix this… maybe even Valor’s Fortress! Clearly, using it on her is a safe bet, though you could also use it to protect another fragile unit.

Catbeard could easily become a Privateer version of El Toro. By training Espirit de Corps, it would give your team yet another buff. Tough melee enemies could easily break through Swashbucklers’ dodge back in Marleybone and Aquila, so this will definitely help even up the odds. Furthermore, it will make Catbeard’s Riposte activate more often, which will deal more damage than his average hit or Relentless attack would. Privateers are meant to support the rest of your team, so that’s exactly what Gracie and Catbeard could do when they promote again!

Conclusion

There are plenty of more companions besides these universal ones (and the blocks of five that we discussed in our last post), but these ones are meant to be the top tier companions that we recruit in the game. Some of their promotions are coming soon, while some we may have to wait a little longer for… but, without a doubt, they’re sure to improve!

What ideas do you have? Do you have any favorite companions that we didn’t list here and have ideas for how they can be upgraded in the future? We want to hear!

In our final post of this segment coming up, we’ll discuss completely new ideas for companions that we haven’t yet seen in the game… be sure to check it out!

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