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A Beginner's Guide to Pirate

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11/11/2021 10:42:11   

A Beginner's Guide to Pirate

Did you know DragonFable is more than 15 years old? The Pirate is one of its oldest classes, released back in ye olden days of 2007. I bring this up because Pirate changed a lot over the years: google “dragonfable pirate guide” and you'll find a lot of outdated information.

Which is really why I decided to write this. Pirate is, at heart, a simple class, but I figure it deserves an overview of how it stands in 2021 2022. This guide is mainly aimed at newcomers or people unfamiliar with the class, but contains some advice for moving onto the game's tougher challenges.

I wouldn't claim to be a expert at DragonFable or guide-writing, so feedback in the replies is always welcome.

Note: Pirate received a Class Update, which this guide hasn't yet been updated for. While some advice in this guide may still apply, consider it outdated for the moment.


Ctrl+F the {Tags} to skip to a section.

1. A few notes...
2. Unlocking and customising Pirate {Unlock}
3. How does Pirate play? {Play}
4. Is Pirate viable? {Viable}
5. What if I don't have a Dragon Amulet? {NDA}
6. Stats for a Pirate {Stats}

A few notes…

Pirate is not affected by your base class. This was the case when first released, and several of the Pirate's skills changed based on whether you were Warrior, Mage or Rogue. But this was changed long ago: Pirate skills are now the same no matter who you started as.

Dread Pirate is no longer a separate class. If you unlock both Pirate and Ninja, you can unlock the ‘Dread Pirate’ customization. Originally, the Dread Pirate was a separate class with some slightly different skills, but this is no longer the case. Now, unlocking Dread Pirate simply gives the Pirate class some new cosmetic options.

Unlocking and customising Pirate {Unlock}

You unlock Pirate at Osprey's Cove, accessible from Book 1's Timeline and its Travel Map; in the map it's the southern dot on the island over in the bottom-right. To unlock it you'll have to purchase the 3,500 gold Forged Papers from one of Osprey Cove's shops and then show them to Rhubarb, the NPC pictured above. Unfortunately, when you get it it'll have zero skills -- which you probably want to change.

You train Pirate by giving Black Pearls to Rhubarb, obtained as a drop from his Random Quests. Each pearl unlocks a skill, and you need 14 in total to fully train the class. Of the lot, Cleaning House is probably the most efficient quest to grind Pearls in. Rhubarb's dialogue will change based on which quest he's sending you to; Cleaning House has him warn you that "Several of the ships in the harbor have a ninja infestation problem."

You can make Pirate your default class by purchasing one of two House Items. The Orb of Saving costs gold to initially buy, then can save whatever class you currently have equipped for a gold fee each time you use it. The Armor Closet is certainly the more convenient option, allowing you to freely switch between and save-as-default any class you've unlocked, but the item costs DragonCoins.

There's one artifact for Pirate, but it doesn't affect the class's gameplay. Artifacts are special items that can alter certain classes when equipped. Assuming you're trying to follow the story in a coherent way, you won't be navigating the Pearl Sea for a long time after finishing the Pirate / Wind Orb questline. But random encounters as you sail there can drop the Navigator's Hat.

It's a decent helm, but as an artifact it just unlocks an alternate outfit for the Pirate class.

How does Pirate play? {Play}

Pirate is a defensive class: it's got three blinds and its damaging moves come with long cooldowns. Importantly for those blinds, Pirate does extra damage to enemies with a negative Bonus-to-Hit (Bonus). Specifically, all its skills other than Quick Shot get an extra 20% base damage against the debuffed foe.

This means there's going to be a difference when entering protracted fights and when you just want to, with as little set-up as possible, tear down random mooks. This section provides a general overlook of strategy, but a full list of the Pirate's skills can be found on the Forum Encyclopedia for reference. For now, I'm going to assume you have access to a Dragon Amulet; otherwise, a section below briefly discusses how Pirate works as a NDA character.

When blowing through quests, Pirate has two big-damage moves: ‘Help from the Locker’ (three critical hits) and ‘Fire the Broadsides!’ (one big hit, comes with a 1-turn stun). You can use these pretty liberally, mixing in ‘Dirty Trick’ (a 3-turn stun), ‘Quick Shot’ (a multi-attack, 130% damage per enemy), and ‘Plunder’ as appropriate. Otherwise, ‘Flintlock’ (two 85%-damage hits) is your filler attack for any extra damage or to finish people off.

Note that Dirty Trick hits three times and will try to apply its stun whenever it connects, giving it decent odds even against enemies with some level of Immobility resistance. Additionally, Quick Shot has a pretty quick animation per enemy hit; that means when dealing with quests with weaker enemies, you can use it to swiftly get through fights.

Plunder, meanwhile, is one of Pirate's more unique features. When you use it, you temporarily lower an enemy's resistances and get either an HP potion or an MP potion. You cap out at 5 potions each, and until you've reached that cap on one of them, it chooses which you get based on whether your HP or MP is lower.

What does that do for the Pirate? It'll get stronger if a player's fully trained their potions, but it's easy for a Pirate to chug a mana potion every few fights and still walk into the boss fully stocked. It's usually not needed, but certainly doesn't hurt. In the early game it can act as something of a safety net: even if you die having used all your potions, a Pirate can get their hands on a few more.

When it comes to tougher bosses, Pirate will have to play more protractedly. If a boss is on its own and has no or weak resistance to being stunned, a good opener is: ‘Fury of the High Seas’ (boost your damage) -> ‘Target Practice’ (-50 blind, set up Pirate's passive damage increase) -> ‘Dirty Trick’ (stun) -> ‘Plunder’ (lower enemy resistance) -> ‘Help from the Locker’ (damage) -> ‘Broadsides’ (damage, plus a final stun before you get to further blinding).

On weaker, non-Inn bosses you might be able to ignore some of that set-up and skip straight to the stun. In some quests, there's every chance that might leave the boss at death's door. In big story quests, less so. In an Inn challenge, after the full set-up you've probably started to dent it. So let's finally look at the Pirate's blinds and debuffs in detail:

* Summon Crackers: 5 cooldown, 100% damage, inflicts -80 Bonus for 2 turns.
* To the Plank: 7 cooldown, 120% damage, -20 Boost for 3 turns.
* Avast!: 7 cooldown, 120% damage, -20 Bonus and -20 Boost for 3 turns.
* Target Practice: 6 cooldown, 110% damage, -50 Bonus to enemy for 3 turns, +50 Bonus to you for 4 turns.

This comes in addition to Pirate's stun having three chances to land and it having two more general defensive skills:

* Sealegs: 5 cooldown, +200 Melee/Pierce/Magic resistance for 2 turns.
* Backstab: 8 cooldown, retaliates 200% weapon damage once per turn when attacked, for 5 turns. Also grants you +80 Block/Parry/Dodge, which lasts until the retaliate ends, but does not come into effect until your next turn begins.

The strategy becomes pretty simple, then. Pirate can keep the enemy debuffed, peppering away with blinds and Flintlock. Then, when it gets low on health or an enemy threatens to pull out the big guns, Sealegs-away and start recovering. For that recovery, it can either down potions or use Lime-Aid (Heal-over-Time, clears all status effects).

The class's damage will be poor, but between its defensive options and being able to grab additional potions mid-fight, the Pirate can sustain itself for a long time. When Locker (15 cooldown) and Broadsides (16 cooldown) do come online, they can be used for a burst of damage, optionally applying Plunder to weaken the enemy or Fury of the High Seas (+25 Boost for 6 turns) first.

Is Pirate viable? {Viable}

Yes, overall. As it stands Pirate is solid: there are certainly stronger classes out there and it has its weak spots, but it's a capable class able to take on most of the game's content.

Where Pirate will struggle is with bosses accurate enough to shrug off Pirate's blinds -- Dr. When, for example. Compared to other defensive classes, it's got to put in more work when dealing with multiple foes, since it'll have to blind each enemy rather than just increase its own defenses. It's still generally a strong defensive class, though, since it can constantly keep enemies' accuracy low and Plunder and Lime-Aid give it two options for healing. Its real weakness, then, is damage output: Pirate is strong but slow, and will be less effective against bosses with their own healing.

One area the Pirate will excel is in a few marathon-y places like the Deepest Neverglades, since it can keep its mana/health topped up no matter how long the quest ends up taking. Good luck having the patience for that one, though. More generally, as mentioned Pirate's multi-attack is quite fast. When Quick Shot's able to kill by itself, Pirate becomes a good choice for farming a quest.

There's some Guest synergy you might've heard about. If you open the Book of Lore and click Guests, you can invite a host of people to help you in battles. The unique synergy: a blinded enemy struggles to hit your friends just as much as it struggles to hit you. And as a bonus, using a potion out of combat heals both the player and their guests by the potion's full amount. A Pirate's potions are pretty disposable.

This is still a strength of the class, but I've waited until now to bring it up because, you know -- for general questing it's kind of overkill. Guests tend to slow things down, and these days they're banned from Inn fights (the stuff you'd want them for). With low CHA, they'll also hamper your XP gain. Still, it's a valid option on the table.

What if I don't have a Dragon Amulet? {NDA}

I won't lie: losing half your skills hurts the Pirate. If you're a free player you can still try out the class, but both in terms of fun and power there are likely better options, such as the Technomancer.

The general strategy is the same. You maintain access to Sealegs, Lime-Aid and one blind (Summon Crackers) -- giving you some limited defensive and recovery options. Dirty Trick remains a reliable stun, and you keep your faster multi-attack and one of your big-hitters (Help from the Locker).

Without Plunder and your other blinds, though, the Pirate's ability to sustain itself is pretty hampered.

Stats for a Pirate {Stats}

You should raise your attack stat first. Like most classes other than the three starting ones, Pirate isn't locked to any specific damage type. If you started as a Rogue and are using DEX and Daggers, or started as a Mage and have been using INT and Staves -- you can try out Pirate without being useless or requiring an immediate respec.

Pirates best synergise with Strength, though. Pirate doesn't have any Damage-over-Time effects and most of its damage comes from non-critical attacks. That means Strength, which boosts non-critical damage, has the advantage over DEX or INT.

Raise Endurance for Inn challenges. Inn fights can be tough: extra health and resistance to stuns is going to be wanted. Usually you'd want to max it, in fact. Outside of the Inn I find Endurance less necessary, but if you are struggling with fights you should consider giving it some investment.

That'll still leave you with a few points leftover level 81 onwards. You'll have 45 points free at level 90, the level cap, assuming you take your attack stat and Endurance to max. Pirates aren't really mana-hogs, so don't benefit too much from extra WIS. I'd put them in CHA to boost your pet Kid Dragon.

If questing or warring, and so just wanting to squeeze out some extra damage, you could instead put that second 200 in DEX (or STR if you're using staves/daggers and have already maxed out the appropriate stat). DEX offers a smaller, general damage increase to all attacks, so if survivability isn't a concern and pets would slow things down, DEX becomes the next best thing.

And that's all I have to say. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Again, feedback is always welcome. Although now outdated and archived, I've decided to leave a link to the older guide, partly for if you're curious about the Pirate as it once was, and partly as a nod to Hopeful Guy and Troy Darksword's work on it. Have a good one, all.

< Message edited by Follower -- 6/3/2023 21:04:15 >
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