A Pirate101 Guide to
Cool Ranch’s Lesser Companions
(Part 1)


Hello and welcome to part three of my Pirate101 Guide to the Lesser Companions! If you’re new here, I would encourage you to check out my two previous articles where I go over the Lesser Companions you can find in Skull Island and Monquista, respectively.

A Black Storm Shaman scores a critical hit.

In today’s article, I will show you some of the sidekicks and scoundrels you can unlock throughout Cool Ranch. Now, because Cool Ranch is such a massive world (three quarters of the game’s content at launch), I’ve chosen to split this list into two articles, so look out for Part Two arriving in the not-so-distant future.

In this article, I will be examining the companions that can be recruited by the Buccaneer, Musketeer, and Witchdoctor. If you’re looking for information on a Cool Ranch companion I haven’t covered here, don’t worry – they’ll be included in Part Two.

What are Lesser Companions?


Note that, for the purposes of these guides, “Lesser Companions” are any companions that:

  1. Can be recruited for free as a quest reward by one or more classes.
  2. Do not have spoken dialogue outside of their quest(s).

While these companions are quantifiably less powerful than our “storyline” companions – both in terms of raw stats/Talents, and in the number of Epics and Powers they get access to – they can still prove very useful in the right scenarios: they can fulfill specialized roles in your team, act as understudies to your more powerful crewmates should they fall in battle, and offer an element of unpredictability and variety to your battles while questing.

Today we will be looking at the Lesser Companions found in Monquista and Valencia, and grading them from one star (not recommended) to five stars (a great choice).

As before, please keep in mind that these grades will be within the context of PvE combat, though much of what I say will still be somewhat relevant to PvP – use these companions in ranked PvP at your own risk!

Now, let’s ride!

Buccaneer Companions

Thunder Hoof (★★★☆☆)

Class: Buccaneer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: N/A

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete To the Rescue! in Elder Bluff

Thunder Hoof, a Bison Warrior from Cool Ranch

Summary

Despite never promoting, Thunder Hoof proves himself to be a versatile and effective Buccaneer companion who only gets better with time.  His Epic pool is good – even if his starting Epic is situational – and he sports an Epic Strike power right from the beginning, giving him a guaranteed critical hit to start (or end) fights with.

Suggested Builds


Bison Champion

  • Hold the Line 1
  • Vengeance Strike 2
  • Relentless 2

Belligerent Guardian

  • Hold the Line 2
  • Repel Boarders 2
  • Relentless 1

Claw Foot’s Bane

  • Hold the Line 1
  • Relentless 2
  • Blade Storm 2
Mustang Gaucho (★★☆☆☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: N/A

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Bust ‘Em Out! in Castillo Sapo

Mustang Gaucho, a horse gunslinger from Cool Ranch

Summary

Of the three outlaws you can recruit/unlock through this quest, the Mustang Gaucho is the least impressive.  His starting Epic is situational at best, he never promotes, and he’s unlocked by the class he has the least synergy with.

That being said, he is saved from a one-star ranking by his Epic pool, which is respectable.  He often struggles to get his chains started, but when he does, he is far from useless.

Suggested Builds


Luck of the Draw

  • Crossfire 1
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 1

Gaucho Gunplay

  • Crossfire 1
  • Quick Draw 2
  • Double Tap 1

Versatile Varmint

  • Crossfire 1
  • Quick Draw 1
  • Burst Fire 1
  • Double Tap 1
Lost Ranger (★☆☆☆☆)

Class: Buccaneer

Recruits at: your level +3

Promotes at: N/A

Buy for: 2,995 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Beyond the Grave in Cooper’s Roost

Lost Ranger, a skeletal cowboy from Cool Ranch

Summary

Alas, Lost Ranger, I knew him well – and I knew from the beginning that he was dead weight.  There is nothing redeeming about this scrappy skeleton, and I doubt I would ever choose to bring him into battle.

Suggested Builds


Lucky Opening

  • Second Chance 1
  • Blade Storm 3

Undead Duelist

  • Second Chance 2
  • Riposte 2

Undying Avenger

  • Second Chance 1
  • Riposte 1
  • Flanking 1
  • Cheap Shot 1
Billy the Kid (★★★☆☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +1

Promotes at: level 60

Buy for: 5,995 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Payback in Tumbleweed

Billy the Kid, a billygoat gunslinger from Cool Ranch

Summary

Billy the Kid suffers from a slew of small problems that reduce his impact in battle.  Buccaneer buffs don’t really help him, and a lack of direct healing/support options hamper his survivability, especially if he’s built as your primary counter-Musketeer.

That being said, his Epic pool is OK, and he does fill in some niches that Buccaneers generally lack: high ranged damage and the ability to counter enemy Musketeers at range.

Ultimately, he is a specialist – good in some situations, and not in others.  Use him wisely, and he’ll cause plenty of trouble for your opponents.

Suggested Builds


The GOAT

  • Quick Draw 2
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 2

Crazy Fast…

  • Quick Draw 3
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Return Fire 1

…And a Little Crazy

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 3
Nadya (★☆☆☆☆)

Class: Privateer

Recruits at: your level +3

Promotes at: N/A

Buy for: 2,995 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete The Shadow of Death in Isla de los Muertos

Nadya, a horse fortune teller from Cool Ranch

Summary

You know you’re in trouble when Nurse Quinn does your job better.

Good news: Nadya can heal people, soft-counter Witchdoctors, and her Privateer status means that she *might* win an exchange with a weak Buccaneer or Swashbuckler.

Bad news: she struggles to do anything else.  Do not recommend.

Suggested Builds


Gypsy with a Grudge

  • Witch Hunter 1
  • Vengeance Strike 2
  • Second Chance 1

Catch These Hooves

  • Witch Hunter 1
  • Blade Storm 3

Witch Walloper

  • Witch Hunter 3
  • Second Chance 1

 

Musketeer Companions

Bison Scout (★★★☆☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: level 32

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete To the Rescue! in Elder Bluff

Bison Scout, a bison archer from Cool Ranch

Summary

Much like his Black Storm counterpart, the Bison Scout starts off slow and gets better over time… though, as a Musketeer, you will definitely have better options for putting out damage and controlling the battlefield at range by the time you unlock him.

The regular Bison Scout also starts with a worse Epic than his traitorous kin – and with a shoddy Epic pool, he barely ekes out a three star rating.

Suggested Builds


Scout’s Honor

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 3
  • Double Tap 1

Fly True

  • Return Fire 1
  • Quick Adjust 3
  • Double Tap 1

Bowman’s Bonanza

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 1
  • Parting Shot 1
  • Double Tap 1
  • Quick Adjust 1
Chicken Ranger (★★★★☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: level 35

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Bust ‘Em Out! in Castillo Sapo

Chicken Ranger, a chicken lawman from Cool Ranch

Summary

With solid Epics and a mid-game promotion that boosts him even further, this versatile chicken is only held back by his short range.

He can deal decent damage, he can provide Overwatch fire, and he can even duel other Musketeers with a fair amount of success.  The only thing he can’t do is all of them at once – you’ll need to decide what you want from him, and build accordingly.

Suggested Builds


Fan the Hammer

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Overwatch 1
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 1

Lay Down the Law

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Overwatch 3
  • Burst Fire 1

High Noon

  • Quick Draw 2
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 1
Black Storm Shaman (★★★☆☆)

Class: Privateer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: level 43

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Black Storm Rising in Scorpion Rock

Black Storm Shaman, a reformed bison shaman from Cool Ranch

Summary

Out of the three Shamans you can recruit as you travel through Cool Ranch, this guy is definitely the weirdest.  Swapping the minor healing power the other two get for Jobu’s Breath is interesting, making him less of a support/healer and more of an offensive caster with decent melee punch.

His Epics are also much more damage-focused, which makes him even better than the others at smacking Buccaneers around.

Overall, I would say he’s *slightly* better than the other two Shamans; a decent Privateer with niche usefulness.

Suggested Builds


Black Storm’s Wrath

  • Witch Hunter 1
  • Vengeance Strike 2
  • Relentless 2

Cursed Cudgel

  • Witch Hunter 1
  • Repel Boarders 3
  • Relentless 1

Magic User’s Bane

  • Witch Hunter 3
  • Relentless 2
Tyson (★★★★★)

Class: Buccaneer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: levels 40 and 51

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Pugilistic Integrity in Traveling Medicine Show

Tyson, a chicken boxer from Cool Ranch

Summary

The champ is here!  Tyson is a top-tier companion with a solid list of Epics and a pair of relatively low-level promotions, making him a solid choice throughout Mooshu and Marleybone.

He also picks up an Epic Strike after his first promotion (though it sadly does *not* improve to a Mega Strike later on), and Turn the Tide 2 after his second.  The only trouble with Tyson is that he doesn’t really fit with the typical Musketeer strategy of long-range defense, instead acting as a melee bruiser to tie up approaching enemies and chip down their health.

Alternatively, he can be used as an aggressive backline bully – using Relentless and Blade Storm to quickly knock out low-Strength enemies.

Suggested Builds


Fighting Champ

  • Relentless 2
  • First Strike 2
  • Blade Storm 2

Open Challenge

  • Relentless 2
  • First Strike 2
  • Repel Boarders 2

Poultry Pummeler

  • Relentless 3
  • Blade Storm 3
Duck Holliday (★★★★☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +1

Promotes at: level 60

Buy for: 5,995 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Payback in Tumbleweed

Duck Holliday, a duck hero from Cool Ranch

Summary

This scratchy-voiced scoundrel is an impressive gunfighter.

While he shares his starting Epic with Billy the Kid, his Epic Pool is a massive improvement.  Mr. Holliday can be specialized in a variety of ways, though he’ll always have a slight lean toward counter-Musketeer shoot-outs.

If you need a capable, versatile Musketeer with style to spare, Duck Holliday can be your huckleberry.

Suggested Builds


Dapper Deputy

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Overwatch 1
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 2

Quack-Draw

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Burst Fire 2
  • True Grit 3

Duck, Duck, Shoot!

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Overwatch 3
  • Burst Fire 2
Corporal Sanders (★★☆☆☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: level 55

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete The Ringleader in  Fort McMurtry

Corporal Sanders, a chicken soldier from Cool Ranch

Summary

Even with a promotion and access to multiple rank 3 Epics, Corporal Sanders is thoroughly mediocre.  His starting Epic is rough, and later options aren’t very exciting either.

Suggested Builds


Hold Down the Fort

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 3
  • Double Tap 1

Corporal’s Punishment

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 1
  • Parting Shot 3

Variety Pack

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 1
  • Double Tap 1
  • Quick Adjust 1
  • Parting Shot 1

 

Witchdoctor Companions

Ghost Singer (★★★☆☆)

Class: Privateer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: level 32

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete To the Rescue! in Elder Bluff

Ghost Singer, a ghost bison shaman from Cool Ranch

Summary

Of the three Bison Shamans you can potentially unlock, Ghost Singer is the only one with a non-randomized name.

In terms of combat effectiveness, Ghost Singer is nearly identical to the regular Bison Shaman, save for one important difference: his attacks deal energy/magic damage, which makes him stronger against enemy Buccaneers (and Swashbucklers too, but I wouldn’t risk it), at the cost of being even less effective against Musketeers and Witchdoctors.

Any of the builds I suggested for the Bison Shaman can also be used by Ghost Singer, and vice versa.  That being said, the builds I chose are designed to complement the strengths of each character, so your mileage may vary.

Suggested Builds


Spirit of Vengeance

  • Witch Hunter 1
  • Vengeance Strike 2
  • Blade Storm 2

Inescapable Fate

  • Witch Hunter 1
  • Vengeance Strike 2
  • Second Chance 2

Ancestral Protector

  • Witch Hunter 1
  • Vengeance Strike 2
  • Cheap Shot 2
Scorpius (★★★☆☆)

Class: Swashbuckler

Recruits at: your level +3

Promotes at: N/A

Buy for: 1,995 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Save those Jolly Ranchers! in Arroyo Grande (West)

Scorpius, a giant scorpion from Cool Ranch

Summary

Despite starting with more Epics than most companions, Scorpius – like most of the Beast companions – quickly loses steam over time.

That’s not to say that this little arachnid doesn’t have some good moves; it has a solid Epic pool, and its Beast-exclusive Ravenous Strike Power gives it more staying power than you’d expect from a Swashbuckler.

The main problem with Scorpius is its starting Epic; Cheap Shot can lead to it picking fights you don’t want, and probably coming out the worse for it.  But if you can work around that, Scorpius can act as a respectable “understudy” to your stronger Swashbucklers.

Suggested Builds


Stinging Counter

  • Cheap Shot 1
  • Riposte 3
  • Vengeance Strike 1

Angry Arachnid

  • Cheap Shot 1
  • Riposte 2
  • Vengeance Strike 2

Skittering Scamp

  • Cheap Shot 2
  • Riposte 2
  • Flanking 1
Lefty (★★★★☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: level 34

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Hunter Hunting in Santo Pollo

Lefty, a crane rifleman from Cool Ranch

Summary

There aren’t many companions who can replicate the power of our dear Bonnie Anne, but this plucky former bounty hunter comes close.

With a great starting Epic and fantastic late-game options, Lefty excels at putting damage downwind, providing solid backline damage along with, potentially, some stat debuffs.  His promotion gives him some extra punch, ensuring that Lefty stays consistently useful.

(Also, a fun fact: in the earliest days of Pirate101 PVP, Lefty was considered to be a Meta pick for Witchdoctors – though that might say more about the quality of the Witchdoctor’s other companions at the time.)

Suggested Builds


Rifleman

  • Overwatch 2
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 1

Marksbird

  • Overwatch 3
  • Double Tap 2

Dead or Alive

  • Overwatch 1
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Quick Adjust 1
  • Double Tap 1
Skyfire (★★★☆☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: level 35

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Relic of a Restless Spirit in Santo Pollo

Skyfire, a ghost bison archer from Cool Ranch

Summary

Almost identical to the Bison Scout, Skyfire differentiates himself in a couple of ways.

First, he deals energy/magic damage as opposed to physical, meaning that he can do more damage against foes with heavy armour (like Buccaneers), but will do slightly less damage against Musketeers and Witchdoctors.

Second, he is one of the very few Musketeers who can learn Witch Hunter.  Should you give Skyfire Witch Hunter?  Probably not, but it’s a fun gimmick.

Otherwise, Skyfire remains a decent Musketeer, but nothing to go crazy about.

Suggested Builds


Spirit Salvo

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 3
  • Double Tap 1

Spectral Sight

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 2
  • Quick Adjust 2

Ghost Buster

  • Return Fire 1
  • Overwatch 1
  • Witch Hunter 2
  • Double Tap 1
Sky Snake (★★☆☆☆)

Class: Swashbuckler

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: N/A

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Bitter Venom in Isla de los Muertos

Sky Snake, a flying serpent from Cool Ranch

Summary

Sky Snake has the opposite problem from Scorpius: a good starting Epic, but few ways to capitalize on it.  Enjoy the first few levels after you unlock this slithery sidekick, but don’t be surprised if it gets outclassed pretty quickly.

Suggested Builds


Fast-Acting

  • First Strike 3
  • Second Chance 1
  • Blade Storm 1

Cornered Fury

  • First Strike 2
  • Blade Storm 3

Relentless Rattler

  • First Strike 2
  • Flanking 1
  • Second Chance 2
Dan Drake (★★☆☆☆)

Class: Musketeer

Recruits at: your level +2

Promotes at: N/A

Buy for: 4,495 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete The Legend of Burly’s Gold in Tumbleweed

Dan Drake, a duck gunslinger from Cool Ranch

Summary

This sneaky son-of-a-gun is sadly limited in usefulness.  While he has a decent pool of Epics, the low number he unlocks means that he will often find himself outmatched.

Suggested Builds


Sly Shootist

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Burst Fire 2
  • Double Tap 1

Duck Desperado

  • Quick Draw 2
  • Burst Fire 2

Mean Mallard

  • Quick Draw 1
  • Burst Fire 1
  • Double Tap 1
  • Parting Shot 1
Bat Masterson (★★☆☆☆)

Class: Privateer

Recruits at: your level +1

Promotes at: level 60

Buy for: 5,995 Crowns

How to unlock: Complete Payback in Tumbleweed

Bat Masterson, a vampire hero from Cool Ranch

Summary

Oh boy, Bat Masterson.

Bat has the dubious honor of being the only non-Musketeer member of the Magnificent Seven, instead opting to fight in melee.  This, combined with the fact that he is a Privateer (and therefore weak against Musketeers), puts him at a considerable disadvantage from the moment you recruit him in Cool Ranch.

In the interest of fairness, he does have a couple of cool tricks:

  • He can use Jobu’s Breath to deal limited damage at range and heal himself at the same time.
  • He can Fly.
  • His melee attacks deal energy/magic damage, which helps him fight Buccaneers and Swashbucklers.

If he had a decent Epic pool to choose from, he could be a contender – but he doesn’t.  His strongest build involves too much random chance, and everything else is either very situational or too low-damage.

Despite having a cool look and skill-set, Bat Masterson is a master of none.

Suggested Builds


Serious Bite

  • Riposte 2
  • Blade Storm 3
  • Second Chance 1

Tracker’s Tenacity

  • Riposte 1
  • Second Chance 2
  • Blade Storm 2
  • Flanking 1

Magic-Eater

  • Riposte 1
  • Witch Hunter 3
  • Second Chance 1
  • Blade Storm 1

We’re halfway there! Join me in Part 2 as we wrap up Cool Ranch with the Lesser Companions recruited by Privateers and Swashbucklers – see you then!

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