In this section we will go over some of the basics of Attacking in Pirate Maidens, then move on to more advanced concepts that will help you understand what is required in order to make your attacks work better and more efficiently.
The Basics of a Pirate Maidens OffenseEdit
The first thing you need to do is realize what your own limitations are for your attack team. There are two main limiting factors:
- Cards Available - Obviously, the cards you own limit the kind of offensive deck you can build.
- Total ATK Points - The upper limit of what you can actually spend on a team is the second limiting factor. You can have 5 Gold Battle-wise Athena cards in your card pool, but without the points to use them, they are worthless in an offensive deck (Cover Fire is a different story).
On the first point, the obvious route to getting better cards is to start doing Gold Rescues. Wink Rescues can only take you so far before you feel the weight of much better cards crushing your spirit. There are also "free" Event pirates (well, technically free, but you have to work for them) that can bolster an offense as well, sometimes even more so than the cards available in Gold Rescue. The obvious quick and easy method is Gold Rescues.
Cards must also be levelled up and enhanced for Combo Levels in order to be at their most effective. This will be covered in a later section. For the purposes of basic thinking, the higher the level a card is, the better it will serve your offense. You can think about the dirty details later.
On the second point, the more points you have in ATK, the more cards you can use. This obviously means that more offensive capabilities become available as you gain levels yourself. This can be offset depending on the way you want to play the game. Are you looking to be a complete low level glass cannon with a full-on attack and little to no defense? Are you looking to be a super defensive captain with limited offensive capability? Are you going the route of the balanced captain with roughly equal attack and defense capabilities?
Obviously, if you wanted to be a defensive player, you wouldn't be reading this article, would you?
Budgeting the OffenseEdit
The simplest design for making a deck come down to pure power level of available cards. This can be a trap or this can be a good thing depending on how you play it.
A lot of new players tend to jam in the hardest hitting card available in their card pool and run with it. This is not an incorrect way of thinking, but more likely than not, most players tend to do it incorrectly. Imagine a scenario where you have a Battle-wise Athena (Cost: 54) available to you at level 20. Yeah, she's a super powerful attacker that boosts the rest of your attacking cards, but at level 20, it's extremely difficult to budget Athena into the offense without cutting corners in defense. Even if Athena manages to get into the offense, what other cards available in the card pool can you afford to use now? The trap players fall into is using that one really cool shiny card like Athena, and then filling in the rest of the Offense Deck with mediocre crap, leading to losses. Let's correct this thinking.
This is where personal strategy will have to come in for the individual. In order to use Athena, the easiest route will be to cut defense points, and if that's okay for your standards, by all means, go for it. The easiest budget for an offense team is to aim for a simple 3-2 win over the defense. This can be done consistently or with the aid of friends. With friends, the budgeting of cards gets easier but the limitations go up.
Without using friends, the offensive pattern used to win 3-2 is 3 expensive cards (from this point, I will refer to them as EX) and 2 pixies (referred to as PX). Pixies, in case you are not aware, are the 1 point cards you get randomly from doing Story and Event dungeons, Floral Pixie Merom and Undine Siren Curine. If your 5 card offensive pattern is EX-EX-EX-PX-PX, then you can concentrate points in the 3 EX cards and only spend 2 points total on the PX cards. The advantage of this type of pattern is that you can more or less reliably win every brawl without having to spend a lot of points and relying on friends to assist (assists can still be called for a 4-1 victory for more earned BP, though!). The downside to this strategy is that it requires the 3 EX cards to be reliably powerful enough to take down the opponent.
On the other side of a budget offensive pattern is a strategy reliant on friends. When you build this one, it will usually run EX-EX-PX-PX-PX, 2 expensive cards and 3 pixies. The 3rd card that takes the opponent down is a friend Assist. The advantage to this strategy is that it's super easy to budget for since there are only two EX cards in the deck! The downside is, you can only rely on friends a set number of times until they reset after 8 hours, and the assists can vary wildly depending on game conditions (ex. Raid Boss Events tend to give you a lot of pixie assists). Regardless, this is actually a great strategy for the casual player who doesn't find themselves attacking as much.
Bottom line is, don't design your deck around a single card, design it around a balance of points and power. A single powerful card is cool but it doesn't win you brawls.
A more advanced way to budget, at least for more higher level players, is to create an offensive deck that requires roughly half or less of your total ATK points. Decks that can run off half or less of total ATK points opens up the possibility of attacking twice or more with every Kraken Jug refill - a super powerful tool in Guild vs. Guild fights, and a great way of making your money (or even your free daily Kraken Jug/Cup) really count in the game. Even an offensive deck that only uses 2/3rds of your total ATK points can be budget friendly. In that case, a cheaper Kraken Cup will let you attack again, with an occasional Kraken Jug to "reset" ATK back to full every 2-3 brawls.
The Advantage of Card ImprovementEdit
At the most basic level, this is the most simple of thoughts: the higher level a card gets, the more powerful it becomes. It is in your best interest to getting your cards to their maximum level and then going for the Gold border. However, there is a second facet that most people overlook: Combo Levels.
Combo Levels allow a card to assist other similar cards in the offense deck at a rate of +10% ATK per combo, at a maximum of two combos (Nation combo and Personal combo) that are added together, for a possible total of a +20% boost in ATK. This is quite significant in high level play, as that boost provides two benefits. The first benefit is obvious; a card that's getting boosted has a higher chance of winning a fight against a defender, thus increasing your own odds of winning a hard fight possible. The second benefit is less obvious but just as important; the bonus ATK coming from combos adds into the Total ATK value at the end, and that increases the amount of BP you earn from each fight. For more detailed information on Combos, click here (Combos).
It is highly important that the cards you use in an offense deck have maximized Combo Levels, or close to the maximum (combo level 200). Although it's tedious to raise Combo Levels, it's necessary in order to get the most value out of your cards.
It should be pointed out here that Combo Level has nothing to do with Skill activation rates. Skill activation rates are a completely independent variable within the game engine and will activate at the same odds whether your Combo Level is 200 or 0.
Why Skills MatterEdit
Skills are super important for the offense deck. Before we go into that, I'm gonna repeat some basic information about Skills that you may or may not know (and to save you some clicking if you aren't aware of this).
- Bounty Hunter +X (% or Cannons) applies to Maquina pirates, not Bounty Hunter types in general (like Commodore Albert, who is a Bounty Hunter but not a part of Maquina).
- Corsair +X (% or Cannons) applies to Bellator pirates, not Corsair types in general (like Battle-wise Athena, who is a Corsair but not a part of Bellator).
- Gypsy +X (% or Cannons) applies to Sanctus pirates, not Gypsy types in general (like Drifting Sorcerer Ebony, who is a Gypsy but not a part of Sanctus).
- +1 Cannons is the equivalent to a +10% bonus.
- +2 Cannons is the equivalent to a +15% bonus.
- +3 Cannons is the equivalent to a +20% bonus.
- -2 Cannons is the equivalent to a -15% decrease.
- Cannons and other buffs stack with other bonuses.
- Activated skills can proc on any legal target and can proc on multiple targets in the same brawl (even on all 5 pirates in the team if they are all legal targets).
The obvious conclusion is that any bonus is better than no bonus. With enough skills and combos, the total ATK power of your offensive deck may double or more, which increases the chances of breaking even the hardest defenses. Remember, the higher your total ATK score, the more points you will earn for a win.
On the flip side, Water Bearer Livonah (and cards like her) are utterly terrible.
While they sport a fantastic ATK for their cost, a skill that gives you a -15% decrease to ATK for any pirate unlucky to get hit by her skill is significant. That debuff can literally take a winning situation and turn it into a losing one. These cards are decent at early levels, when the cards you put in the offensive deck have such low ATK that -15% won't hurt them too badly. At higher levels, when you're looking at losing 1000 or more ATK on bigger, better cards, it's time to move on. They are, however, fantastic as Cover Fire cards for your deck.
Always Fight When You Have the AdvantageEdit
This one is simple, but is overlooked a lot. Type advantage matters.
Corsair > Gypsy > Bounty Hunter > Corsair
Type advantage gives the side with the advantage an additional +10% to their ATK or DEF that is stacked with other bonuses like combos and skills. Additionally, this is a free +10% buff that is easily controlled by the attacking player and is guaranteed to work every time. It cannot be responded to by the opponent, giving the attacking player all the power. This means you can't be stupid with your attack order decisions. You need to move pirates around before tapping brawl in order to make the most out of this easy advantage, and you cannot let the opponent gain the type advantage, unless the pirate in your lineup was a throwaway to begin with. If you find a defensive lineup that you cannot handle due to type advantage, it's not worth fighting unless you can respond by changing the entire attack team to take the type advantage back.
Cover Fire is ImportantEdit
Cover Fire is defined as 5% of the total ATK value of the 10 best pirates not in your offensive deck. That number, displayed before you commit to a brawl, is divided by 5 and given to each of the pirates in the offensive. This can add +1000 or more ATK to every pirate and is unaffected by any bonus. This means that Cover Fire won't get a multiplier, but on the flip side, if you run Water Bearer Livonah or any of her other debuffing friends, Cover Fire won't be affected by them either. Cover Fire is free additional ATK regardless of how many skills you have, so it's in your best interest to keep at least 10 more pirates in your deck, even if you don't plan on using them in your offensive team, and even improving those cards to Gold and Silver borders will still improve your attacking as a whole.
On the Subject of GuildsEdit
Being in a Guild actually matters a whole lot. The Guild Bonus, which is (Guild Level x 10), is actually added to the base ATK value of each one of your pirates before skills and other bonuses are applied. That means the added points are indeed multiplied in with your other bonuses, so this number helps your ATK grow even higher as the stacking continues. If you're serious about brawling, joining a Guild is the way to go!
The Actual Mathematical Formula for Total ATKEdit
For reference, this is the actual formula the game uses to determine the Total ATK value of your pirates. (Special thanks to Sudo-pm, Gears of Fate, Eclipse, and various beaten test subjects for helping in figuring this one out!)
Total ATK = [ (Base ATK + Guild Bonus) x sum(Combos) x product(Skills) x (Type Advantage) ] + [ Cover Fire / 5 ]
The same formula can be applied for Total DEF, by replacing Base ATK with the Base DEF of the defending card.
Here's an example. For this example we will assume the attacking player is in a Guild that is Level 35 and Cover Fire is at +6372.
Lenore manages to score both a Dandy and Bellator Combo, along with Awakening (+15%), Ponton (+20%), and Fighting Spirit (+15%). For this scenario, the equation would look like this:
- Total ATK = [ (10180 + 350) x ((10% + 10%)+1) x (15% + 1) x (20% + 1) x (15% + 1) x (10% + 1) ] + [ 6372 / 5 ]
- Total ATK = [ 10530 x 1.2 x 1.15 x 1.2 x 1.15 x 1.1 ] + 1274
- Total ATK = [ 12636 x 1.15 x 1.2 x 1.15 x 1.1 ] + 1274
- Total ATK = [ 14531 x 1.2 x 1.15 x 1.1 ] + 1274
- Total ATK = [ 17437 x 1.15 x 1.1 ] + 1274
- Total ATK = [ 20052 x 1.1 ] + 1274
- Total ATK = 22057 + 1274
- Total ATK = 23331
That poor Primrose.
A couple notes:
- Type advantage seems to always be positive. So an attacker with a type disadvantage doesn't lose 10%, but, presumably, the defender gains 10%.
- Pirate Maidens appears to like rounding numbers down (or truncating), even with intermediate calcualtions. Keep that in mind if you are trying to get an exact match between the reported Total ATK and application of the above formula.
There are a multitude of tactics that can be employed for attacks. Here we will go over a few.
Pixie Farming is taking a team of 5 Pixies and attacking another player whose defense is overloaded (Total Cost of DEF Pirates > Player's Max DEF Points). Since the defending player is overloaded, their pirates' base DEF is equal to 1 or less, meaning that the Total DEF is roughly equivalent to their Cover Fire bonus. As long as your pixies and their Cover Fire bonus are greater than the opponent's Cover Fire bonus, it's a guaranteed win every time for 5 ATK points. Since most players have far more than 5 ATK points, multiple attacks can be made with every Kraken Jug refill.
This is exactly what it sounds like. Since an opponent cannot generally respond to your attacks, you can tailor an attack deck that specifically takes the Type Advantage over every single one of the opponent's defenders before you make your attacks. You can even set the team up in the correct order to facilitate quicker brawling (not having to change the order every brawl speeds up the brawl process).
Generally, this kind of tactic isn't BP effective unless the defense is all one type, since pirate types are generally confined to a single nation (Bellator = Corsair, Maquina = Bounty Hunter, Sanctus = Gypsy) and Nation Combos won't activate, reducing your BP. At the same time, you avoid having the Type Advantage taken from you, so it's still in your best interest to tailor the attack deck for your specific situation. Of course, perfectly tailoring the attack deck isn't always possible unless you have a large pool of cards to choose from, so do the best you can with what you have.
By far, the most effective way to maximize the amount of Total ATK you get out of a crew is by using pirates that are from the same Nation. Skills that affect everyone come at a premium (see Sorcery Librarian Chloe or Andred the Victorious for examples), but skills that affect only specific nations come much cheaper and have a much larger bonus (15%-20%) for less points. In addition, you can also activate Nation combos for an additional 10% boost.