Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hoodoo Bundle Review

Hello Pirates- as you've probably already heard, Pirate101 announced a new $29 bundle available at Walmarts across the US: the Hoodoo Bundle! If you remember the last $29 bundle, it had an awesome outfit, an exciting new kind of housing item but an only so-so companion and ship (disclaimer! I still love having Handsome Dan as part of my crew, but it's true that I would still choose other companions over him, and the ship is fun because of its unique silver trim, but it's hard to mix and match ship parts). So I would like to let you guys know my thoughts on the bundle so that you can decide whether you believe it's worth it for you or not.

The bundle contains the following items:

  • the Ghostly Galleon ship (all parts included)
  • Mojo Monkey companion
  • the Conqueroo's Outfit
  • the Witchdoctor's Lab housing item
  • Baron Samedi's Battle Standard
  • 1 month membership or 5,000 crowns added directly to your account

The Ghostly Galleon

The ship is nothing short of amazing. It brings a new dimension to ships in Pirate101 that's never really been seen before. This ship is based off ships you probably see a lot if you have quested through the Haunted Skyway in Cool Ranch. While the ship itself isn't dyeable (including the sails), you can dye the following:

  • the fog coming off the deck and the spiderwebs in the ship's "mouth" (counts as the ship's dye and trim)
  • the lantern on the ship's figurehead
  • the cannons
  • the helm

The cannons and helm don't have a specific origin, so you can mix and match your awesome, glowy equipment on your other ships!

I really like this ship and might even consider it one of two selling points of this bundle. The highest tier of the ship is only marginally weaker than a fairly well decked-out eagle galleon.

The ship is available in 6 tiers. I've put together a little slideshow below for you to see all the different tiers.

While the stats of the powers and equipment aren't groundbreaking, remember that you can switch out your horn power without losing any aesthetic value. I took my ship to the Marleybone skies for some test driving and kicked serious Frog Pirate booty. This ship will make a great conversation piece as well as a formidable addition to your battle fleet.

The Mojo Monkey Companion

This companion is easily one of the better Witchdoctor companions out there and what I consider to be the second main selling point of the bundle. While everyone gets Old Scratch, it's apparent rather quickly that his accuracy is low and his damage levels just aren't enough to keep him at the top of most crew rosters, and many of us are left Witchdoctorless. This Mojo Monkey changes all of that.

If you redeem him at level 65 like I did, he is automatically level 68, will go through two Gold promotions (for 4,000 and 6,925 gold, respectively) and  is ready to go. At this level he starts with Relentless I and you get to choose three (that's right- three!) epic abilities. You can choose from Relentless II, Second Chance, Repel Boarders and Witch Hunter.

You can also choose fourteen talent boosts: Agility, Rough, Dodgy, Lucky and spirited, all up to level 5.

Let's also not forget a brand-new, never before seen epic ability: Go Bananas! (yes, it does have an exclamation point). This is a very powerful ability currently only available on this companion.

As seen in the card picture above, Go Bananas! allows the companion to attack over and over until they miss. But, as with many good things in Pirates' lives, there is a catch. For every successful hit you will lose 5% of your companion's total health. As long as you have Bonnie Anne there to back up your monkey companion with a powerful heal, it really shouldn't be an issue. It's a really awesome move that I hope we will see in other, weaker companions later on down the road. Unlike Old Scratch, the Mojo Monkey relies on single-space radius attacks that seem more like melee attacks than spell attacks. Still, it feels good to finally have a good Witchdoctor companion on my team. This guy is definitely going up near the top of my roster.

The Conqueroo's Outfit

The Conqueroo's Outfit, like most bundle outfits, should probably be used for its looks in stitching rather than for its battle stats, as most boss drops are already very good and we know that future world expansions and level cap increases are on the horizon. With that being said, this is a very cool and unique-looking outfit that every Witchdoctor will want in their wardrobe. On guys, the hat consists of a top hat and a bandanna that goes over the mouth and nose, and the girls' version has a rounder hat with the same bandanna. The coat is much heavier than what we're normally used to seeing on witchdoctors. Both guys and girls get essentially the same coat, and the boots appear to be exactly the same for both genders.

This outfit boosts the Will skill, so the stats, if you really want them, will be perfect for your Witchdoctors and Privateers. Personally, as I previously said, I try to stay away from using gear bought with real money, as better things are bound to come along and make your current gear obsolete, but to each his own!

In the interest of providing as much information as possible, here's another little slideshow featuring all the tiers of the Conqueroo's Outfit.

The Witchdoctor's Lab

This is a really, REALLY cool item that comes with everything else. This Decoration housing item, which can be placed both indoors and outdoors, transports your Pirate to a secret, underground lair where they can concoct all the dastardly potions and hold all the secret meetings they want. Commodore Chucklesworth and I took a look around and we both agree that this is one darn cool area. You get your own interactive cauldron that spews spooky energy at the push of a button, an enchanted upside-down purple cyclone in the back of the room and eerie energy fields and colored fire to keep the place properly lit for a dim, scary atmosphere.

The only downside to this item is that you cannot place any housing items inside. Oh well- more room for you and your secret mischief club members to plan havoc! If you try to pick up the item while others are inside, they will remain unaffected and will simply reappear where the entrance once stood when they leave.

Baron Samedi's Battle Standard

Finally, we have a very exciting new item that can't be found anywhere else: a new battle standard! If you remember from the last bundle, these banners help certain companions in battle by boosting stats and giving other cool benefits. Let's break this item down. By the end of this post, you should have a really good idea of how it works.

This intimidating Battle Standard benefits undead companions (after all, what other kinds of companions would a witchdoctor love?!). This means companions like SM Arson, Old Scratch and Bosun Budd. Please note that the monkey companion that comes with this bundle will not receive any benefits from the Standard, as he isn't considered undead!

1. Using the Standard
Battle Standards are actually Token items, and when you redeem your Standard you should see it in your backpack along with your other Tokens. To have the Standard show up in your powers bar in combat, you will have to equip the Standard (sorry- Pirates won't be able to wear both their snazzy Black Rain Shades and use their Standards!). Once your Standard is equipped, ensure that the undead companions you want to boost are up high enough in your roster that they have a good chance of joining you in normal fights. One more thing before you step into battle: If you want the Standard to show up quickly, go to your Powers page (use the shortcut 'P' to open the window directly) and move the Standard's icon to the top of your list. You must do this each time you equip your Standard.

Once in battle, there are two different zones in which you may place your Standard (special circumstances excluded- I will touch on this shortly). When you start a typical battle on land or with another ship in deckside combat, the Battle Board is split into two regions: your side and enemy territory. In most cases, enemy territory is the half of the board where the enemies start at the very beginning of the fight.

If you place your Standard on your own ground, undead companions standing on any of the spaces surrounding the Standard (diagonally or adjacent) will receive benefits. If you and your undead companions manage to infiltrate enemy territory and place the banner on the other side of the board, your companions will get even more benefits!

2. The Standard's full potential and how to achieve it
What are these benefits, you ask? Baron Samedi's Battle Standard gives undead companions (all that are in range of the Standard, that is) a doubled attack power and a 5% heal at the end of every round. You'll be able to tell if companions are receiving these benefits by a glowing circle around their feet.

When you manage to place the Standard in enemy territory, your companions (again, as long as they're still next to the Standard!) will also get a really, really cool benefit called Soul Harvest. Every time that an undead companion under the Standard's influence defeats an enemy, the soul of that enemy comes back as an ally, which is like a pet that cannot be commanded and moves after everyone else has taken their turn, and will fight for you! They will always be of the Witchdoctor class and will have Vengeance Strike and Relentless. Whatever level the enemy was in life will be the level of the spirit while they serve you.

3. Other points of interest
It is worth pointing out that companions aren't the only ones who can receive the Standard's benefits. Old Scratch's summoned ally can get both Bolster Undead and Soul Harvest if he's next to the Standard, and even the spirits of your defeated enemies can get the same benefits! Think of it as a game of tag where, once someone is tagged, they get to be a tagger, too!

As I mentioned above, there are only certain circumstances in which there is actually enemy territory. While you are fighting roaming enemies in the skyway, like Buffaloons in Cool Ranch, there is no enemy territory because the entire battle board is on your ship, which is YOUR territory! And when you are in deckside combat, be sure to place your Standard on your enemy's ship- the gangplanks connecting your ships still count as your territory.

If your brain is a little overwhelmed from that tidal wave of information, or you're a visual learner like me, I made a little video to demonstrate the basics of using the Standard.
If you plan on using the standard and are unsure if you'll be able to use it to its full potential, play around with the battle a little and flee before coming up with your actual strategy for the real fight. Remember that once you've placed the Standard, you cannot move it and enemies cannot destroy it.

4. PVP
In the case of PVP, everything I've said above will apply here. The only exception is that your opponent will be able to destroy your Standard and remove your benefits, so guard your Standard well!

The Swashbuckler's Verdict

Buy this bundle if at all possible, and if you cannot find it anywhere near you, wait until it comes online and get it then!! This bundle is super fun and has both pretty-looking stuff and powerful battle stuff. The ship will be both a powerful and eye-catching vessel and the monkey companion will be the breath of fresh, Witchdoctor-scented air that we've all been waiting for. As with other bundles, this one comes with 1 month of membership OR 5,000 crowns- your choice!

This bundle is on sale now at Walmarts across the United States and will be available on the Pirate101 website after a while (though it is usually close to a year of waiting).

Find your nearest Walmart and contact them about whether they have the card in stock by clicking their logo below:
(redirects to the official Walmart Store Finder web page- if you're under 13 please ask for a parent's permission before going here)

If you cannot buy the bundle, be sure to ask for it for your birthday or whatever holiday is coming up for you! Be sure to also check out the official Pirate101 fan sites by clicking the X-Marks-The-Spot icon below for contests that may still be going on for Hoodoo bundles!
(redirects to the official Pirate101 Fan Sites page)

1 comment: