Pirate101 PvP Companion Tier List
Ever wondered why most PvP players tend to use the same 10-15 companions? Here is a tier list of many of the companions in game (with 1v1 in mind). It includes explanations of what each tier includes and some specific examples. These companions are not necessarily in order within each tier. In addition, running the exclusive the highest tier companions on this list regardless of class and/or strategy is not necessarily a good idea. This list will serve as a general guide as to what is “good”, “great”, “bad”, and “worse.”
These are the best companions in game. They can fit into any class’s main loadout, and generally make that team significantly better just by being there.
- Scratch– Generally speaking, if you’re a musket, privy, swash, or witch, Scratch is too good to pass up on. He essentially buffs the majority of these classes’ offensive and defensive options in some way. His summon is hard to hit and lands most of its attacks. Furthermore, with his newest promotion, Scratch gained an improved aoe drain and a purge magic and is almost in a tier of his own. This is absolutely insane. This purge gives musket greatly increased leverage vs Nausica, and it allows for combos and generally more aggressive play from privateers. It allows witch to knock a fort off their opponent after running their pirate and other units out of purge range. Finally, he jumps up from borderline viable to fully viable for swashbuckler. Combining Scratch-buffed poisons and purges from your pirate and Scratch himself is deadly. The only thing preventing scratch from reaching a tier of his own is his vulnerability to Round 1-2 rushes in ranked pvp. In spar, he’s ridiculously degenerate and provides insane value and tempo.
- Contessa– The previous 2 companions were on this list because of their great offensive capability and general utility. Contessa is included because of her defensive abilities and ability to be included in any class’s main ranked build. First strike 3 coupled with her gallant defense is arguably the most effective Black Fog counter in game. Gallant defense is also a hard counter to Nausica. Hide+Backstab is an effective way to burst down most units.
- Ratbeard– Ratbeard is the most versatile defensive unit in the game. He can potentially access hold the line 3, repel boarders 3, first strike 3, and cheap shot 3. You can build him to address whatever threatens your build the most. He also has a reduce accuracy move and a levy-ignoring knockback aoe that can force enemies into traps.
These units are irreplaceable and amazing for certain builds, but are either inaccessible or less useful in others.
- Temujin/Subodai – It says a lot about Pete if a unit inferior to him in almost every way is still this high. These horses hit like trucks, especially in tide. Unfortunately, they lack a charge, so their low movement range can make them a liability in certain matchups.
- Bonnie Anne– The original “good” musket. She has a valuable damage+utility power and an incredibly potent heal. She is excellent in countering summons with overwatch 3 and scatterblast. In matchups against privateers and musketeers, Bonnie is a nightmare for these foes to contend with. A privateer’s low base agility and somewhat mediocre dodge (even in elusive) means that Bonnie is a win condition by herself, should she survive to the late game. A quick draw 3 Bonnie is equally tricky for a musket to deal with due to how effectively she chains them. Both privy and musket may also rely on Contessa’s Gallant Defense in the early game too and Bonnie counters those strategies nicely.
- Emmett/Exeter– Great against melee with his slows and ow3; grit 3 counters rushing musket units quite nicely. A damage reduce and a heal (Emmett only) are just gravy. Muskets love this dude.
These units are still among the most powerful and frequently used, but they are not as universally used or necessary to run as those above them
- Wu Tang/Wing Chun– Amazing for buccaneers. 10 rounds of accuracy, a super hit of his own, and a heal make him irreplaceable, but only for bucc. He’s probably at the bottom of this tier.
- Wagyu/Kobe– Great epic talent choices, 2 guaranteed crits. With a dodge buff, he serves as an effective melee counter. Like Subodai/Temujin, he has very low movement range, so he’s not as good of a rushing swashbuckler as Flanders and Contessa.
- Baar– 7 epics (plus Tide 3), 3 long range reduces, and 2 powerful summons make Baar one of the most terrifying units in game. His health makes it nearly impossible to ohko him, even with a hidden unit. This forces the opponent to waste multiple guaranteed attacks to kill him or risk being on the receiving end of a nasty chain
Here we start getting into some of the more niche/roleplaying companions. Some of these units will be very strong in one niche, but merely decent everywhere else. Other units in this tier will have 1-2 weaknesses holding them back from A tier relegation
- Gracie– Certain Scratch+Tree based privy strats can abuse her mine and golem effectively (but let’s be real, anything is busted with those 2 things), but she loses most of her usefulness after her power are gone, as her epics are very bad.
- Marchioness– Being will based is a double edged sword, as she can be chained easily by most other melee units, but will chain equally well herself. She also lacks the Turn the Tide, high movement range, and/or high base dodge that other strong melee units have. Dispel can counter assassin’s shrouds, vicious spam, etc, but she’s either unlikely to survive long enough to use it effectively, or there are other techniques to counter the powers in question. The will buff is less useful than the other Inhuman Resource companions’s buffs, since privy rarely runs full will-based, offensive teams.
- Haywire Dragoon– Obscenely good against buccaneers, solid elsewhere. Sure his damage output is worse than the angel, but he has massively better durability
- Ghor– Improving the range of musket/witch units is great, but it requires a full ranged team to get maximum value.
- Goro– Solid companion. Forms the backbone of aggressive buckler and/or buck teams, but is pretty useless after using his charge.
- Lemba Moonskull– Burst 2, Quick draw 2, and Grit 3 make a great anti-musket unit. Having big guns helps for round 1 burst damage, even more so with Scratch. Big guns also can be an interesting combo piece.
- Itzen Kaan– Wu Tang is strictly better since he has a super. Everything else is the same, so he’s a respectable unit nonetheless.
More niche companions. These units, out of their niche, will be pretty weak. Other companions in this tier are ones with interesting/powerful epic choices, but no powers besides a super hit. They tend to be gimmicky.
- Milo/Malik– Same as Jack, but cheap shot makes him a bit worse than even him
- Haywire Marine– Venge 3 and HTL 3. Need I say more? Although he’s a bit less tanky than Gerard/Barnabus, his 3x Haywire Strikes make up for it in damage output
- Egg Shen/Zhang– Good boon target for free to play privy, no fs 3 or vengeance 3 puts him well behind Temujin/Pete/Goro/Baar
- Doomhorn– Same epics as Temujin/Subodai, but has only the super hit. Bucc has way too many better choices that are easier to obtain.
- Haywire Musket– He can be used offensively (basically as a more offensive Bonnie Anne variant), but he shines with ow5 on defensive classes. However, he has 40-50 less accuracy than a musket player with ow5, making it much less useful when facing elusive/tide targets
- Gaspard/Giordano– Can be good against summons, very weak elsewhere. Ratbeard-esque epics, but doesn’t have a reduce or his own protection
- Handsome Dan– He has a heal and decent epics (but no super), so taking advantage of his will w/ will buffs requires being a privy. They already have a multitude of heals, so an extra rouse isn’t super helpful.
- Prince Yulefest– Bottom of this tier, arguably belonging in the one below. He has no powers, but has true grit 3 and burst fire 2 as a possible setup. Essentially a poor man’s Nausica.
The lowest companions that you won’t get judged too harshly for running. They are meh across the board, maybe a notch above in a certain matchup.
- Yohr– Sneaky sneaky 2 makes him hard to eliminate, especially if none of your units can counter-chain him, but to what end? He lacks critical strikes and his epics are small enough in number to keep him in the realm of non-threatening units
- Mormo/Uga Buga– A lot of powers that can hit hard, but he’s too fragile and has too little range
- Carcarius– Same as above
- Birgus/Caracticus– although first strike 3 vengeance strike 3 is an interesting combination of epics that doesn’t exist elsewhere, he’s terrible in pretty much every other regard
- Atohr– Ever get less than 200 damage away from killing a unit before you stop chaining? Never fear, Atohr is here! Don’t mind the fact that he has 2 fewer epics than every other good buck companion and no guaranteed hits.
- Dead Mike/SM Arson– Lots of epics, none of them any good or compelling. He should have stayed in the grave.
- Zeena– Her flames do ok damage at best and her epics no longer shine in a meta where most viable muskets have 7+ epics or true grit 3
- Laarn– Fewer epics than all the privy companions listed before him. If he can deal killing blows to lots of summons, he can get a lot of work out of his Feeding Frenzy. Otherwise, he’s useless.
- Bosun Budd– His starfish can create a gimmicky wall around your team and his self heals make him pretty hard to eliminate (although he’s not threatening enough offensively to make eliminating him a priority). Otherwise, he’s pretty bad. He’ll probably catch you off guard once though.
- Martin Valvida– His only use is breaking the hides of bucklers that have witch hunter. However, there are so many better ways to do it
- Hoodoo Cornelius– He suffers from the same problems as other melee witches: His stats are too low to deal damage reliably. Thus, his frenzy isn’t as effective
- Chilam Bak– Strictly worse Mormo. Boo. Hiss.
- Khord– He’s a witchdoctor with exactly 0 powers. With his low accuracy, the odds he does anything substantial for your team are equal to the amount of powers he possesses. Bloodsucker increases his survivability, but his low damage output makes that pretty irrelevant. Why is it that all these bears have ways to increase survivability, but are so useless otherwise?
- Catbeard– He has buckler epics, but dodge too low to make use of them. Hard pass
- Hawkules– He’s Pete, except with 2 fewer epics, only 1 rank of Tide, and no reduce or Whale’s might. His crit hit is an epic, not a super. All in all, he’s Pete, except missing nearly everything that makes Pete good.
D and below Tier
Everyone else. Please don’t use them without a very, very, very, good reason to do so.
If I missed someone or you think a unit on the list should be higher up, let me know in the comments!