With the heavy aspect of teamwork in Pirates vs. Ninjas, a good number of people can forget that with a high reaction stat also comes the ability to consistently interrupt the turns of others. While many strategies work best with simultaneous attacks, there’s something to be said about the power of turn interruption. By interrupting someone’s actions, a player can attack a target and then move out of the way of the attack that was aimed at them. However, there are limits to this action. First, it can only be done once a turn. So, if multiple opponents are targeting, this tactic can tend to fail. Secondly, for most characters, the character will need to be attacked on the turn where they pull this trick off.
Still, with a bit of thinking and planning, this tactic can be especially potent in the right hands. Here’s a few tips to get you started…
1. Favor Agility
This should come as a no-brainer, but you’re not always going to go first in reaction. With the Kurosawa corollary present and moves like Cross Arm Draw, your ability to interrupt won’t always come in. For those cases when you’ll legitimately have to dodge attack, favoring agility over precision in getting your high reaction score can be a life saver. If the build relies on a high precision score to work, it would still be wise to look at the Hitinja’s Lord of Parries ability for a better chance at dodging.
2. Bull’s Red Cape for High Will
A level 2 Charrismatic Lord ability can make a decent difference if your character has high Will. By making an opposed Will check, you can guarantee that you’ll have a target to attack you on the next turn as long as no one attacks that target. While it’s a minor impact, ensuring that you get someone to waste an action each turn can be useful.
3. Run and Gun for Double Fun
For people not familiar with this Arrcrobat ability, it allows its user to attack in the middle of a move action instead of at the end. With this ability, target do not need to be attacked in melee order to use their high reaction to their advantage. This can be really useful if attacked with a ranged attack and you wish to still hit the target with a melee skill. This way, you can keep up the attacks and stay out of range.
4. Boost Move Speed
Movement boosts seem to primarily exist for characters with abilities like Power Slide, Rolling Thunder, or Rending Sky Drop, but characters that don’t get direct buffs off of them can take advantage of move speed increases as well. By boosting your move speed higher, you can ensure that after doing a reaction interrupt, your character can get away from all but the farthest range attacks and the biggest aoes in one turn. Be careful though, continual move speed boosting can actually wear your character out.
5. Learn to Hide
One of the problems with reaction interrupting is, unless the opponent follows you all the way to where you ran, you’ll often have to run back into range on the next turn to get an attack off. Since you’re likely to have a high agility with a high precision, taking abilities like “Like the Wind” can allow you to hide and reposition yourself for a better area of attack. Also, you can wait till after the opponent has attacked to get a good sneak attack in.
6. Deafness has its Advantages
So, you’ve built your character to have a super high agility, you can run and gun interrupt the best of them and get out of the way of anything short of a Hintinja’s Horizon Throw. There’s just one problem. Sound-based attackers. Insults and Musical attacks have few range limits and can be hard to get away from no matter what. Unless your character is a really high point character, you might not have the best Will score in the world. At this point, having a character that can’t hear might actually be worth the -1 agility and inability to hear. It’s not without its costs, but it can be a way to cover an otherwise fatal weak spot.
7. Learn from a Drunken Master
It may cost some life and maybe some of your body score, but the Drunken Master attribute buffing skills can help skyrocket your reaction score higher and higher. When you have a reaction of 8 or more, there’s very little that will go before you, even when the Kurosawa Corollary is against you. Furthermore, with a high enough agility or precision score, some skills become a lot more deadly like Bullet Dance, Cost of Power, Overdrive, and Dance of the Twin Blades.
8. Have a Back-up Plan
In Pirates vs. Ninjas, there’s usually a fairly common way to counter your main strategy. Don’t focus your entire character into reaction interrupting unless you’re still at fairly low point levels. With such high agility and precision, you might not have the highest life totals where even Wind in Yer Sails can be a threat to you or you might get ganged up on occasionally. As fun as reaction interrupting can be, it is not a perfect solution. Have another method for wearing characters down. When worse comes to worst, switch to defense until you have an opportunity to turn things around. A high agility and precision character should have these tools at their advantage.
With any luck, these hints should allow you to effectively wear out your opponents with as minimal effort as possible. Reaction interrupting is incredibly effective against characters that rely on big melee moves to do their damage. Raging Digit may do 75 damage with a 10 Will, but if there’s no target to hit, it’s just a waste of 40 life.
There is nothing like interrupting an enemy’s attack with your own, interposing for a friend and still dodging the attack. Literal insult to injury.