From Zero to Hero
Beginners’ PvP Guide
Part 1 – Before Starting with Ranked PvP
PvP is a fantastic Wizard101 endgame activity but it’s also the hardest one. Requirements to even survive in private ranks are insanely high, not to mention obtaining this shiny warlord badge. Sounds pretty scary, right? Don’t get discouraged though, we’ve got you covered.
This From Zero to Hero guide will be divided in four parts and hopefully we’ll cover everything you need to know to start being competitive in the Arena. Don’t get scared though about this wall of text, which is aimed to privates. The road to higher ranks become significantly easier once you master the basics. Imagine this as a life process. It’s really hard to learn how to walk. However, once you do learn it, figuring out how to jump and run becomes a much easier task.
This is probably the most common thing you hear if you ask anyone for advice – get better gear. And they’re right: just getting the proper gear will make your battles much easier. Of course it’s possible to reach good ranks with bad gear, but to achieve that you’ll need lot of experience and a lot of game knowledge – which we don’t have at this moment. You’ll understand the theory of what you have to do in PvP after reading this guides, but fighting and experience are the key to make these things work.
Luckily for you, getting good enough starter gear isn’t as crown-costly as it used to be years back. There is some bad and some good news when it come to obtaining the required gear. The bad news is you will have to grind – a lot! The good news is – there are a lot of other things you need to grind for as well, so your wizard’s life won’t be too monotonous!
Anyway, let’s proceed to what gear you should wear. You can probably find some better pieces that don’t require high rank, but the gear is this article will only be crown-free pieces.
There really aren’t any viable crown-less gear options for these levels. Duelist gear is not available yet, there aren’t any dungeons until higher levels and having Bazaar gear only will give you nightmares.
There are a few options until you reach level 60. The best and hardest to obtain is duelist gear. It costs a lot of tickets, but it’s worth the grind. It’s true that the gear doesn’t give any resist, which is probably the most important stat in PvP. However, here’s the thing about resist: it’s better to have high damage and pierce with no resist than to have average damage and resist without pierce. Almost everyone carries TC infallible at lower levels. What infallible does is pierce (aka lowering the value of) the resist. 20% pierce reduces your resist for 20% – simple math. But in other words, having 0% resist is often exactly the same as having 20%. They can’t pierce your resist if you don’t have any!
If you’re level 30 or higher you can farm Mount Olympus for Zeus/Senator gear. It’s not as offensive as duelist gear, but it’s still a good substitute if you don’t want to spent weeks (or months) doing tournaments for tickets. The last option is Bazaar gear, which is okay gear if you really want to challenge yourself (hint: you don’t want to challenge yourself) or you need it to do tournaments. In that case focus on gear with health, damage and pips/accuracy.
As for accessories, there isn’t really much to discuss. Use the Sky Iron Hasta wand if you’re already level 30. If you’re not, then you’ll have to go with the duelist wand for the extra pip at the beginning and some extra stats. The best ring and athame are also the duelist ones, so you’ll need to spend some extra time farming for tickets. Before getting them though, try to get ones with extra health and power pip chance from the Bazaar. If you’re level 50 already, go with Wintertusk gear that gives extra damage.
This is the level range where getting gear become much easier. That’s because the only things you need from Brandon Mistborn are the ring, athame and wand. As for the hat, robe and boots, there’s one option you want – Waterworks gear. There is another dungeon with a bit more offensive stats, House of Scales, but drop rates are much lower there. Stick with Waterworks gear — you’ll have plenty of time to experiment once you’ve become a bit better in PvP. You can try with crafted gear, but it doesn’t have as good stats. Bazaar gear is a no-no here.
Unfortunately, this is a level where pack wands become really strong. Sky Iron Hasta still does its work, but for PvP purposes it’s a bit outdated. As an alternative, do some tourneys and buy yourself the duelist wand. You’ll get some critical and block chance as well as the valuable armor pierce.
The higher we go, the less ticket-reliant gear we need. The only duelist piece of gear you need at this level range is the ring. To be more specific, the level 100 ring. Since 110 and 120 don’t add any pierce boost, the ring for exalted wizards is the best choice for PvP at any level between 100 and 120.
Moving on to the athame, we have two options. The one dropped by Morganthe or the one dropped by Yevgeny. They are almost the same, but Yevgeny’s gives some extra accuracy and is known as best athame at the moment. For wands, go with the crafted one from the Arcanum or the one from Malistaire if you’re not high enough level yet.
For the hat and robes you should choose between Darkmoor and Krokopatra/Rattlebones exalted duel. Some schools are straight forward when it comes to which one is better, but most of them have pretty similar stats. Just pick your poison. The decision is a bit easier when it comes to boots. Pick the ones from Darkmoor or if you’ve finished Mirage, use the ones from the bosses in Sands of Time.
While Mastery amulets can be dropped around the spiral, we’ll focus on non-mastery builds. If you’re lucky enough to get one as a drop, go ahead and use it (as long as it’s relevant and useful). But if you don’t have any, we can improvise a little.
For low levels there are a few options. The easiest is the level 10 amulet from the Bazaar that gives 2 weakness cards. It used to be really popular and was by far the best choice in the past, but it got overtaken by masteries. It’s still a good choice though, since it gives you the ability to stack weaknesses! The second choice is the duelist amulet – if you want to spend some extra hard earned tickets then go ahead and buy it. It gives a nice amount of health and cool cards.
In the mid levels it becomes a bit more interesting when it comes to amulet choices. While everything written above still applies, there is one better choice. Stroll your way to the Lower ZigZag dungeon, where you can get an amulet with a 2% damage boost. You can get it either from the last boss or the chest in the room, opened by a wooden skeleton key. While there are small differences between them, they’re really small and it doesn’t really matter which one you choose.
When you hit level 100 though, you’ll get access to a whole new power in amulets. There are a few available options, all dropped. You can get the amulet from the rat, the last boss in Polaris, which gives a nice chunk of block, 6% universal resist and shield enchanting cards. Or you can choose the one from Shane von Shane in the second part of Darkmoor. This one will give you 4% pierce and 4% universal resist. Or you can choose the one from Morganthe with a bit lower resist and pierce, which will also give you extra blade cards. All amulets are good, but my personal suggestion is the one from Shane von Shane.
Mounts with stats are not a necessity and since they require purchases we won’t pay too much attention to them. This part is just to let you know that they exist and if you manage to get one, don’t hesitate to use it.
Decks are the only part of gear we haven’t covered yet. Regardless of your level, you should always have a deck with a triangle socket. If you’re level 100+ you should also pay attention to getting a deck that gives an extra pip at the beginning of the match as well some other minor stats.
Jewels are an addition to some pieces of your gear and they also play a big role in PvP. Especially at higher levels! The extra stats are pretty low at low levels, but they’re good enough to make a difference every now and then.
We need to differentiate between two terms when it comes to jewel values. First flat increases and second percentages. Percentages are usually the better choice because they provide you with a higher additional value. For example, a damage boost jewel will add only 20 extra points to your attack, while 4% pierce will reduce your opponent’s resist from 50% to 46%. That’s 540 damage dealt instead of 500, if the base damage of your attack is 1000.
There are the following options to affix to Tear sockets:
- Fishing luck
For PvP purposes there’s only one useful option – extra health.
There are the following options to affix to Circle sockets:
- Damage (flat)
- Pierce (percentage)
- Outgoing healing (percentage)
- Critical chance (flat)
Things become more complicated here. For levels 55+ there isn’t any discussion. Percentages offer way more of a boost than flat values, so pierce is the way to go. Some players prefer a healing boost, but they have really specific strategies and you don’t need to worry about those right now.
At lower levels you can just go with flat damage. Critical and pierce jewels aren’t available yet and healing boost jewels are way too hard to obtain.
There are the following options to affix to Square sockets:
- Resist (flat)
- Stun block (percentage)
- Incoming healing (percentage)
- Block (flat)
These jewels are just there. They don’t offer any significant advantage, but it’s still nice to have them. Similar to the circle ones, healing boost jewels are rare and hard to obtain. Unless you’re running specific strategies (which you won’t) you don’t need to worry about them. We can ignore extra block as well, since right now critical and block chances are often neglectable. And it doesn’t add too much anyway. Which leaves us with stun or flat resist. It’s up to your personal preference, but I’d suggest chosing flat resist. It’s more useful in my personal opinion and you can simply buy them for arena tickets.
There are the following options to affix to Triangle sockets:
- Power pip chance
- Shadow pip chance
- Additional cards for your deck
The extra shadow pip chance applies only to level 100+ wizards. They’re a rare drop and offer a small boost and, as such, they’re not really worth the hassle. The additional cards might sound tempting, but generally accuracy or power pips are a better choice. If you do decide to go for extra cards, choose something like a double blade or an extra bubble. As for the decision between extra power pips and accuracy – it’s really hard to tell and it often comes down to preference. As a rule of thumb, you can go with accuracy until you won’t be fizzling your attack spells anymore and add powerpips to any leftover spots.
Make a good pet
Pets are another necessary evil, which will cost you a ton of gold, time and mega snacks. But like it or not, you’ll need one if you want to be good in PvP. But before you start looking for the pet you find good, we’ll have to set up priorities. Some things are more important than others, so watch out so you won’t start wrong. Creating pets is like building a house: first you set the base, then the walls and the roof at the end. Anyway, here is order of importance when it comes to pets.
1) Pet talents
2) Pet cards
3) Looks of the pet
Now, depending on your skill level and PvP needs you may skip to the second point, but I wouldn’t recommend this to a beginner. We’ll need every bit of help we can get in order to succeed.
Now that we set up the priorities, lets check what your pet talents should look like. There are two must have talents, regardless of the level and school you’re playing: Spell-Proof and school dealer. Sometimes you’ll see people without either of these talents, but don’t stress about that. They’re using specific builds and play styles that aren’t important to you just yet. The third talent in line is Spell-Defying. Depending on the level you’re playing, you can skip this one. At lower levels and if you play with offensive gear there’s no problem if you replace defy with an offensive talent. However if you’re at least level 60 where farmable gear gives nice amount of resist and damage, then you should try to get defy.
The last three talents are up to your personal preference. The easiest decision is again with offensive low level builds. In this case, just fill your pet with other offensive talents: damage boosts, may cast infallible, pierce if you can find it or even critical. It get a bit complicated at mid levels. Since you can afford to play more defensively you can throw some wards, enfeeble or may cast fortify into the mix. It all depends on your play style.
The chance of getting a pet with a useful card is pretty high, if you’ll be hatching with experienced players. While some cards are better than others, there really isn’t a set rule which pets are the best. By far the most popular pet across all levels is the Enchanted Armament and you can’t go wrong by choosing it. It gives 3 sharpen blade cards – a sun card which you can apply to your blades to make them 10% stronger AND which stack with regular blades.
Other popular choices are pets that gives an extra blade. That could be for example a Rain Beetle, which hits and leaves a balance blade, or one of the little Beasts, which give a normal blade you can stack. At low and mid levels you’ll also see the Clockwork Paladin pet. It gives minions, which are arguably the best in the game. The only minions that are better are Talos (but it’s Myth only level 55+) and Death’s Animate (and its high pip costs makes it a really situational spell).
The last popular but a bit less frequent option you can see are pets with defensive cards. The Flamenco Tocador gives Availing Hands, which are pretty nice cards for Balance wizards or wizards that use a Balance mastery amulet. Or you can choose any other pet sold by Sir Nigel in pet pavilion, and receive 3 90% dual shield cards. There are plenty of options available and you don’t even need to browse through the wizard101 wiki. Just go to the Arena and check what kind of pets are used by warlords.
Gardening is the best way to make training pets easier. Your pets will fail a lot and you will need a ton of mega snacks and gold to compensate for this. Plants are a good way to do this, since they’re a passive provider of gold and snacks. While you’re farming for gear or training pets, they’ll automatically grow in your home. One visit a day is enough to ensure that they will keep growing.
So, what plants should you have? For mega snacks there are two options that stands out – evil magma peas (EMP) and couch potatoes (CP). Which ones are better is up to your personal preference, but I’d say couch potatoes are more suitable for beginners. While you can squeeze more emp seeds into a large circle and they drop a ton of rare reagents, CP’s have other benefits. It’s much easier to obtain them and they’re a real goldmine. Selling the treasure cards and regular snacks they drop will net you a nice amount of gold.
But wait, there’s more! These are only the plants that are good for your pets. There are some other types of seeds that will come in really handy in your PvP journey. Unfortunately, they’re also crowns seeds and are a bit harder to get as a drop. So, focus on the following ones AFTER you get everything else:
- Sunions: drop various useful tc’s such as supernovas, gargantuans and colossals.
- Ivy leagues: the best source for triage tc’s. They also drop healing cards like availing hands and sacrifice.
- Sword ferns: drop all kinds of blades if you want to save some gold and loremaster tc’s.
- Ultra king parsleys and saw palmettos: drop bad juju tc but since they don’t reseed it’s not the best idea to spend too much time farming for those.
- Jewel seeds: they drop all kinds of jewels. They’re good, but come only as a rare drop from a pack. Don’t waste crowns on these, since there are much better options.
Protip. If you’re a member you get a chance to double your seeds when Kingsisle gives us double gardening rewards. Make sure to add all the likes to your plants so you ensure the fastest growth possible and don’t miss this chance. You can also split your seeds in half (especially the ones that grow slow). Plant half of them and when they’re half way to the elder plant the rest of them. That way you’ll have double the chances to multiply your seeds, but unfortunately you’ll Murphy only half of them. Another chance is leaving them at elder and waiting for the benefit. But if you’re just starting you might leave this for later. EMPs and CPs grow really fast with all the likes anyway, so in the worst case scenario you’ll only double them.
Here it is, yet another chore. It’s not as important as it used to be regarding gear requirement, but it’s still a really good thing to do. You can get most of the gear either as a drop or buy it with tickets, but from time to time you’ll still see something juicy that requires a crafting level.
From the low levels until grandmaster (level 50) you might want to have a high crafting level to craft those gargantuan tc’s. It’s true you can buy Monstrous at any level (Gargantuan becomes available at level 58), but remember – every little bit count. Monstrous adds 175 damage to your attacks, while gargantuan adds 250 damage.
Things become more interesting once you hit Zafaria. You can become a legendary crafter here and unlock the ability to craft Lore spells. These are usually really strong additions to your school’s arsenal and are an addition you shouldn’t miss out on.
The next levels don’t offer too much when it comes to crafting needs for PvP. There is some decent gear – it should be good enough for starting ranks, but waterworks/house of scales is generally better. If you’re doing PvP at max level, crafting offers a great alternative to pack wands.
When should you start/do a ranked match?
And finally, no matter how tempted you are, be patient and don’t rush into a ranked match. Take your time and make sure that you’re really prepared – that you have all the gear you need and a pet you’re satisfied with. Before you’ll get all the required gear you’ll probably need a lot of tickets – that’s where tournaments come to play. They are a much better way to get tickets. You’ll preserve your rank while you’re still learning and you always get at least 250 tickets – even if you end up in the last place. It’s still a long way since Brandon Mistborn is the greediest badger I’ve ever seen, but there’s another positive thing to gain from doing tournaments.
Doing tournaments is good practice for ranked PvP. There is an option called Practice PvP, but you won’t learn too much from there. It might be a good introduction if you’ve never done PvP before, but it won’t prepare you to the slaughter that is going on in ranked PvP. Tournaments, on the other hand, have plenty of good players and just by getting smashed by them you can watch and learn how they play.
Okay, so – you got all the gear, read all the guides and got destroyed countless time in tournaments to study good tactics. Despite it being time to finally test your skills in ranked, there are still some limitations to when you should stay away from it:
- Age reset – everyone went back to 500 rank, so it’s better to wait until the warlords get their rank back.
- Try all opponents – don’t click that, go fishing instead. Unfair matches are extremly tough for experienced players, so for beginners that’s pretty much a suicidal mission.
- When RNG messed you up/upset you. Being angry in such a situation is understandable, but it will only lead to making more mistakes. Take a break!
Are entry barriers for PvP too high or are you prepared to take the challenge and start the long road towards warlord?