The Nefarious Five Solo
on Swashbuckler

One of the most enjoyable fights in the Tower of Moo Manchu, is the Nefarious Five! It takes a special place in my heart thanks to the unique drops it has. Not to mention the challenge of facing 5 pirates with just your Firstmate. It was truly amazing and difficult when it first came out. But once you figure out a strategy and have the perfect tools in hand this fight is no longer difficult. Welcome to a Swashbuckler solo article for this amazing fight! This is the continuation of the series “Solo Pirate101 like a Pro” just as promised. Let’s get right to the point now, shall we?

What is the Nefarious Five boss fight?

It’s a group of pirates just like you from all over the Spiral, each one representing a world (based on their outfits and names). Moo Manchu gathered them, and they drank the Manchurian Elixir. This makes anyone fight for Moo Manchu, boosting their power and sharpening their skills. They’re on the 8th floor in this 10 floor tower and also are the first bosses you encounter.

The Gear

These are the gear pieces and items I’ve used and seemed to be pretty effective with my soloing attempts:


There’s pretty good set of companions you can run as a Swashbuckler in such a fight. However, you can bring one only. Here’s are a list of recommendations:

Old Scratch

He’s arguably one of the best companions, thanks to his spell power buffs. He’s recommended for such a fight because his spell power buffs can be stacked. After buffing, you can use a poison, followed by an assassin’s strike. The bleed and poison damage will be massive! The minor buffs will also end up buffing your heals, an essential part of this fight.

Furthermore, his 3×3 Jobu’s Kiss will deal a good chunk of damage as well. Only downfall for Scratch is that he’s pretty fragile, which goes without saying since he’s a Witchdoctor.

El Toro

Toro should be able to help you for a bit, thanks to his Espirit de Corps. However, once that’s used he will be pretty useless. If the game wants to give you hard time, he won’t chain well or he’ll miss his hits and eventually die. Regardless, he’s still pretty useful.

Fan Flanders

Every Swashbuckler’s favorite heroine is pretty good as well. She has a decent choice of talents and her grand shadowdance and agility buff combined with her guaranteed super strike are helpful to deal a pretty good amount of damage. The only disadvantage is that she’s pretty squishy as a glass cannon unit.


His accuracy reduce and his ability to run Hold the Line 3 and tank some damage whenever you can’t pull a hide will be of great help in dangerous situations. This makes him pretty viable in such a fight.

Contessa Argento

Contessa’s hide and backstab combo is a pretty good reason to use her. In addition, she can protect your pirate from receiving damage (all thanks to her Gallant Defense). She’s the last one to recommend, since she’s pretty useless right after her powers are all used.


I like to use Scratch in the Nefarious fight, so keep that in mind as you read on. As soon as you begin and choose your companion you should:

  1. Fog asap. Scratch is a fragile companion and you don’t want him to die round one.
  2. Make sure to go buff in the following order: Round 1- 25% spell power buff, Round 2- 50% buff and your Valor’s Shield, Round 3- 100% buff and your Valor’s Fortress
  3. Now you’re going on the offensive! Round 4- use a poison on the largest group you can reach and get in range of your target for round 5, Round 5- eliminate one of the five with a hidden Assassin’s strike and Scratch’s AOE.
  4. From here on out, slowly kill off the remaining units. Be careful with timing your powers, especially your heals, hides and assassins. Using them way too early or without good reason will backfire on you later on. However, being too conservative will get you killed quickly, so be careful and choose wisely!

So far so good! But who should you go for and eliminate first is your question, correct?

Faithless Josef Hawkins

Your poison and hidden Assassin strike + bleed stacked should easily kill him. You can use Scratch’s Jobu’s Kiss to ensure he’s dead if it can reach. He is one of the most annoying targets you gotta deal with. Josef carries quite a few offensive and dangeous powers such as Vicious and Brutal charges, Reckless Frenzy, and Assassin’s strike. Not to mention bucks tend to chain a lot, so you will want to kill him asap.

Once that’s done, you’ll definitely take some damage. It will be best to hide and heal to prepare for your next target to kill! which is…

Ignoble Jonathan Ashburn

Why he should be the next target to eliminate? Well he carries curse, has hides just like you and his base damage and dodge are incredibly high. Which makes him a  2nd dangerous target you want to get rid of.

Remember that your poisons are your best friend to deal some decent amount of damage while you’re hidden. This, coupled with an assassin’s strike bleeds will eliminate much of his health. Note that he does have first strike 3, so be prepared to take hefty damage from first strike/riposte chains. Alternatively, you can reduce him before going in for the kill. If you have Witch hunter trained on your pirate too, that’ll be nice to prepare for his soul shroud once he’s below 50% health.

Disloyal Lynne Finkle

She’s not much of a threat, I know. That’s what it seems. However, the truth is her crit debuff and her other powers are pretty annoying, not to mention she has access to curse, just like Jonathan. Which gives you yet another good reason to be rid of her.

Remember, don’t give her too many summons on the board by using summoning doubloons. You don’t want to deal with her soul harvest!

Unreliable Benjamin Wright

If you’ve reached this far and are still alive, then congratulations! you’re almost done once you kill this Elusive Musketeer. he’s the last dangerous offensive target to eliminate. You can always give him (or the buck) a brutal charge to reduce their accuracy as he sometimes can go on a basic hit spree and chain rapidly. Do what you can to deal some good damage on him. Be careful and do your best to avoid his bomb traps and trickshots too, as these deal quite a lot of damage if you’re in his range or if he gets a lucky crit.

Insensitive Faye Jennings

She’s your last target in the Nefarious Five fight. She’s the last to kill as she doesn’t carry any kind of dangerous or offensive attacks besides big guns and artillery (Which both deal almost no damage). But she has the buffs any privateer has (yes, including forts, heals and even an absorb). So be cautious.

Make sure not to use any summon doubloons, you don’t want her to charming gaze you or the minions you’re summoning and turn things upside down for you!

For a better view on how soloing the fight works, you can also see my video attempt of soloing Nefarious Five here:

And with that, comes our soloing guide article to an end!
Are you going to solo The Nefarious Five boss fight?
Plan to go all the way to the top once you’re done with this group of Pirates?
Let us know in the comments below!

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