One of the common misconceptions in Pirates vs. Ninjas is that low level abilities lose their use once a player decides to pay for higher level abilities. Why do 5-10 damage when you can dish out a whopping 50+ damage raging digit?
Well, while high level abilities obviously have their uses (after all, they wouldn’t be high level if they didn’t), there are uses for low level abilities. Today, we’re going to look at some of those.
It should be obvious to most people that have read through the ninja abilities that the level 5 Evadinja technique, Master of Small Techniques should be massively useful here. After all, for just 2 awesome points, a character is allowed to double the base damage of all their level 1 or 2 abilities for the remainder of combat. This technique is actually so powerful as to make the Shoninja’s Inefficiency Kick a usable move. Instead of 25 life for 20 damage, the move becomes 25 life for 40 damage. Not shabby as far as high level techniques go. Perhaps even more frightening is its ability to take a character with 10 agility and Winding Arc Punch and turn a 2 cost ability into a 20 damage wonder move.
However, for the Pirates or Wanderers out there, this ability is not required to get a little use out of your level 1 attack abilities. For instance, the Arrcrobat’s Wind in Yer Sails ability is often overlooked. However, despite it’s measly 5 damage for 2 cost, the technique’s alternate effects become incredibly useful. While the ability to replace a technique with any written technique and the ability to interrupt reaction interrupts doesn’t sound amazing, what this does mean is that a proper Pirate can take a speedy ninja that keeps interrupting their actions and ensure that they can get a shot at the offending party. Sure, you won’t get that massive 20 damage attack off, but you didn’t waste a turn entirely. Furthermore, with the advent of damage buffing, a well-built character can take that attack from 5 damage up to 20 or even 30 damage all for a fairly insubstantial cost. Furthermore, the user will likely have spent less life on this attack than some of his or her higher level techniques to do that damage.
Another awesome example is the Gambler ability Roulette Draw. At 3 cost for 5 measly damage and 10 range, this technique appears to be one of the worst in the game at first glance. However, the mathematically inclined will realize this technique’s true power when they notice the part about the technique doubling critical damage. If the player chooses to spend 6 awesome to confirm an automatic critical hit, this attack gains a x4 multiplier on its damage. Once again, this doesn’t seem like much as this is essentially 20 damage. However, should the player decide to add damage buffs on this attack (for instance, Fists Don’t Cut, All Together Now, getting a Coordinated Assault or Gather the Forces from a party member, Fight Like a Demon, or many others), those buffs also multiply in damage. Add in the Wanderer’s “The Limits of Mortals”, and those abilities become x6 multipliers.
With 6 awesome points in hand, a player can suddenly 1 shot anything in his or her path with a level 1 ability.
This doesn’t apply to just damaging abilities though. Love level buffs can have their use too. The Wandering Minstrel’s Unchained Avian (which gives a +2 Will to all party members for a turn without the life gain) is an excellent defensive maneuver against Charrismatic Lords, Rokinja, and other Wandering Minstrels.
Either way, I hope this article has encouraged you to look into the lower level abilities and not just focus on level 1 and 2 abilities as skill buffs and minor combat effects. In the right hands, they can be deadly.