Companion Spotlight
Baar


Let’s take a trip back to Pirate101 in 2014. One of the biggest differences you would notice is how dramatically companions have improved in these last 5 years. Back then, many PvP viable companions had a mere 4 epic talents. This meant companions that had more than 4 or 5 were at a premium. Two popular and commonly used companions had more than 5 epic talents: Nausica and Baar. Both of these were paid units. Nausica comes from the Empire Bundle, while Baar, the feature of this guide, is the premiere companion of the Grizzly Beast Booster Pack.

At this time, these units were consensus top tier units and were light-years ahead of many of their peers. They both had more powers than any other companion in the game at the time and had ultra-effective epic talent choices, allowing for 6+ chain attacks per turn. For instance, Nausica was such a potent musketeer counter due to her epic talents that she was banned in many competitive PvP circles. Although Baar never fell under a similar ban hammer (to my knowledge), he was still an incredibly potent companion.

Baar is a buccaneer that accesses 6 epic talents in addition to his trained Relentless 1 and Turn the Tide 3 (He remains the only companion with tide 3 even today!). As a buccaneer, he can train Vengeance Strike 3, one of the most potent counter-epics in the game. Most players round out his epic talent suite with relentless 2 and bladestorm 2, which allowed him to hit 7 times a turn (before any vengeance strikes were factored in). Few other units, pirates included, could mount this strong of an offensive. Baar also possesses 5 potent powers: three 6-range accuracy and/or dodge reduces and two summons. Although he had no guaranteed critical attacks, his enhanced chaining potential and strong utility powers compensated for it. Thus, Baar was a nearly ubiquitous companion: if you were lucky enough to have him from his booster pack, you’d almost always want to use him.

Then… Something Changed


In the middle of 2015, Kingsisle released their Ranked PvP update to Pirate101. Perhaps the most significant portion of this update (to PvE and PvP players alike) was the increase in epic talents nearly every companion in game was given. The bulk of companions no longer had 4-5 epic talents to decide from. They had 7-8. Our friend Baar didn’t receive any additional epics, so he remained put at 7 epic talents + tide 3.

This meant that many other buccaneer companions, such as Peter Quint, Subodai, and Temujin could now obtain the same set of epics that Baar did (with tide 2 instead of tide 3). Consequently, some players began to question Baar’s position in the metagame. These newly improved companions had multiple guaranteed critical attacks, 2x haste moves, or trained stat buffs. They played an aggressive gameplan much better than Baar could, as Baar had no way to guarantee that he would do good damage with his chains.

Thus, the question stands: Does Baar have a place in the current PvP metagame as a top buccaneer companion, or has he been overshadowed by other buccaneer companions? I believe the answer is yes. First, I’ll go over Baar’s stats, epic talents, and powers in a bit more detail before explaining how these things give him a unique and potent niche.

Base Stats and Talent Selection


Health: 2516
Accuracy: 118
Dodge: 118
Weapon Power: 291
Strength: 80
Movement Range: 4

Baar receives 17 talents and 6 epic talents (plus relentless 1 and turn the tide 3). Here are my recommendations for how to fill them:

Talents

  • Tough 4- More health is always a good thing.
  • Rough 4- The same is true about damage.
  • Accurate 4- Staple talent on all PvP companions. Missing chain hits hurts, especially on a companion like Baar with no guaranteed critical hits
  • Strong 4- Further increases damage output, critical rate, and (possibly) Vengeance 3’s stun rate.
  • Dodgy 1- Baar has Turn the Tide 3, which adds +25% dodge when below 50% health, so any extra dodge is good

This brings Baar to 346 weapon power, 3026 health, 133 accuracy, 120 dodge, and 96 strength

Epic Talents

  • Vengeance Strike 3- Venge 3 is a ridiculously good counter-epic. It allows Baar to eviscerate swashbuckler units and trade effectively with other buck units. In addition, a timely stun can turn off epics like Hold the Line 3 (or any chaining epics, thereby increasing survivability)
  • Relentless 2- Staple talent on all companions that can get it.
  • Bladestorm 2- I’ve experimented with Bladestorm 1 and Relentless 3 (to increase the odds of relentless triggering), but the upside of the additional rank of Bladestorm should Baar get a chain of criticals (ideally in Tide) is too good

Baar can also train Flanking and Cheap Shot, but the above setup is significantly better than investing in either of these talents.

Powers


  • Weasel War Dance (x3)

    • Baar obtains 3 of these powers at max level. The first one (shown above), does 385 damage, while reducing the target’s accuracy and dodge for 5 rounds. The next one reduces both accuracy and dodge as well, but only does 257 damage. The final one only reduces accuracy. All 3 of these powers have 6 range and can only be buffed by spell power buffs.
      • Usage: Having the ability to reduce a problematic unit’s accuracy and dodge from a distance without risking counter-chains is very valuable. At that point, you can send Baar or your other team members at the reduced unit and attempt to chain it down. It can also be coupled with Espirit de Corps to provide a Battle Zeal-esque effect.
  • Shrawk

    • This power summons a hawk pet to a random square on the battleboard. Shrawk has very high base accuracy and dodge for a buccaneer. He has First Strike, Repel Boarders, and Cheap Shot trained. He also has an infinite range magic attack (that heals him!), a medium range ranged attack, and a couple of aoe melee attacks
      • Usage: Summoning Shrawk round one is very effective, as he will oftentimes use his AOE on 3-4 of your opponent’s units should they not be able to spread out in time.
  • Ruhr

    • This power summons a black panther to a random square within 3 tiles of Baar. Ruhr has Witch Hunter, Bladestorm, and Bleeding Strikes trained. Bleeding Strikes is a pet-exclusive talent that does damage equal to 5% of the target’s base HP every round for 3 rounds following any successful attack. Ruhr has a handful of AOE melee attacks. Should he use one of this attacks, ALL the affected units will get the DoT from Bleeding Strikes.
      • Usage: Ruhr is a nightmare. If he gets an AOE melee attack off, the affected units will lose 15% of their base health in addition to the damage the attack itself did. Summoning him at a point where your opponent will be unable to attack him directly (increasing the odds that he gets an AOE off) is ideal

Why Baar?


Let’s say you own Baar. Why should you use him, as opposed to another Buccaneer unit like Temujin? We know that Baar lacks the guaranteed critical attacks and 50% accuracy reduce that other buccs have, but what makes him special?

 

Early Chip Damage

Baar’s summons are excellent at doing early game chip damage. Let’s say you summon Shrawk round one. He uses his AOE and does 200 damage to each member of your opponent’s team. They try and kill him, but Shrawk’s heightened stats allow him to get in some extra first strike damage and survive. He continues to harass your opponent while you advance. You eventually summon Ruhr, who immediately uses his guaranteed critical melee AOE. This does 250 damage to, let’s say 2 units, plus ~150 bleed damage per round for 3 rounds.

By the time they kill both summons, it’s entirely possible that one or more units are at or below 2000 health. You haven’t used a single valuable attack and your companions have taken no damage, but your opponent has lost upwards of 1/3 of one or more companions’ health. This has been a fairly common occurrence for me, especially while using Baar against melee-based teams. To quickly kill the summons, they must position themselves in a way that opens them up to hefty damage from the 2 summons’ AOES. However, they are less effective against ranged-based teams that can use overwatch and burst fire chains to efficiently deal with them.

Indirect Engagement (Counter-chains)

Since Baar has 5 powers, it may be a priority of your opponents’ to remove him before he can get good value from all of them. This (obviously) means they have to attack Baar. If they’re melee, this means they must contend with Baar’s vengeance chains. Furthermore, if they bring him down to tide, Baar becomes quite difficult to hit (150+ dodge) and can hit even high dodge opponents frequently (nearly 170 accuracy). If the target has been reduced by Baar, this difficult is compounded upon. In addition, having tide allows Baar to occasionally land hits through accuracy reduces. Baar is great at just sitting around and forcing your opponents to deal with him. They either must attack him directly (risking chains), or spend valuable resources on killing him (not even a hidden assassin kills him fully). If they don’t, you get great value from his chains and reduces!

However, if the opponent is ranged, they no longer have to deal with Baar’s vengeance strikes (however, their lowest stat will be strength, so Baar’s odds of getting critical chains go up). Furthermore, Baar has no way to guarantee that he gets attempts at chains. Ranged units have high accuracy and low dodge already, so Baar’s minor reduces are much less effective. Thus, Baar is likely to be worse in matchups against ranged opponents, but very strong against matches against melee opponents.

Attacking from Multiple Angles

Finally, Baar’s reduces are unlike other reduces in that they don’t require melee engagement. Baar can reduce a unit without taking damage from their counterchains or walking into their hold the line. This means an opponent cannot rely on “free” counterchain damage to defeat Baar; they must engage him directly. On top of that, his reduces aren’t blocked by Leviathan’s Call, Kraken’s Lament, and Triton’s Song, making them particularly effective against bucks. So, even if your opponent reduces Baar’s accuracy, you can still get optimal value from his reduces.

Another noteworthy aspect is that these reduces can effectively function as an accuracy/dodge buff for your team. Thus, Baar can play multiple roles at the same time (offensive unit, support unit)

Final Verdict


Although Baar is no longer alone as the best buccaneer unit in the game, he is still quite the formidable foe. He is useful in all stages of the game. His summons do excellent early chip damage. His reduces allow for effective exchanges with your opponent. Should he survive to the end game, having Tide 3 will make him a nightmare for opponents to fight effectively.

However, I’d only strongly recommend Baar against melee opponents. A unit like Temujin, Subodai, or Goronado is better suited for fighting ranged opponents, as these units have guaranteed criticals and/or charges. Their reduces are more impactful against these opponents as well. I personally have found that Baar is an MVP against buccaneers and quite helpful against swashbucklers. I hope this piece highlighted some of Baar’s strengths and persuaded you that Baar is still one of the most powerful units in the game!


What companions would you like to see featured next?
Let me know in the comments!


 

Share your vote!


Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid