How to Survive Pirate101 Smuggler’s Arena (Part 2)

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Pirate101 Smuggler’s Arena

How To Survive The Gauntlet

Part 2: Dress For Success

The first part of the Smuggler’s Arena guide discussed the enemies you will face.  This article will outline the kinds of gear you should have.

You Are What You Wear

Having good gear can make the arena much easier to negotiate.  Healing gear – specifically Revive – can be obtained in the Bazaar.  Unless you are a Privateer, having at least one piece of gear that gives Revive is a necessity.  Decent special attack gear – Brutal Charge, Super Strikes and Mojo Storm – can also be purchased in the Bazaar (so can Walk In Darkness, but I don’t recommend it for the arena).  Other than that the best gear is all No Auction, must be farmed for, and often only drops in a single specific location.

Some of the most useful No Auction gear for the arena (including type/boss/location):

Captain_Bloods_JacketCaptain Blood’s Jacket (Outfit/Captain Blood/Miranda) – One of the two best pieces of PvE gear currently available in the game, it puts down an X pattern of 5 blood flames anywhere on the board.  An opponent cannot move through the flame squares, and will be damaged when they move adjacent to one.  After doing damage, a flame has a reasonably high chance of disappearing, but it is not guaranteed.  When in the hands (and on the back) of a high Spell Power pirate (a.k.a. Witchdoctor), blood flames will do over 1000 damage each, and can take out an enemy unit all by themselves.  Even if you aren’t a Witchdoctor this is one of the most useful pieces of equipment for the arena, especially when coupled with a Spell Power doubloon.



Imperial Robes Of Moo Manchu (Outfit/Moo Manchu/Top of Moo Tower) – The other best piece of gear.  Instantly summons 9 Terror-Cotta Warriors, each with Vicious Charge and Hold The Line 3.  And they explode when they die.  What could be better?  The minions don’t have a large amount of health, and can all get wiped out on their first turn by a few Musketeer bombs or Improved Mojo Blasts (and the subsequent chain reaction explosion), but even then they serve as a useful distraction and will stop any enemy who tries to move past them.  Unfortunately, this is also possibly the most difficult piece of equipment to obtain. 



Imperial Boots of Moo Manchu (Boots/Moo Manchu/Top of Moo Tower) – Freezes all opponents in place for one turn, and does minor damage.  This won’t stop ranged attackers from hitting you, or Privateers from casting heals, but it can buy you an extra turn to maneuver your companions or find the critical power you really wanted (mumble grumble Tempest of Torpedoes grr).  But be warned – enemy Bucs that are frozen will cast Whale’s Might, which makes them that much more dangerous for the next few turns.


Earth_Guardians_HelmEarth Guardian’s Helm (Hat/Earth Guardian/Maruzame Castle) – Places a stone wall in front of you up to 3 hexes away.  The wall cannot be seen through, but is quite flimsy (only 40 health per square).  The length of the wall depends on the range of your weapon, and extends equidistantly on either side of the casting square.  A melee weapon makes a wall 5 squares long, a range 3 weapon makes a wall 11 squares long, and a range 6 weapon makes a wall 17 squares long (or it would, except the arena is only 10×10).  Like Moo’s boots this can buy you some time.  It has the added benefits of screening you from any ranged attacks, and your opponents may waste special attacks on the wall itself.  And if your pet or a summoned creature is on their side of the wall, they will chase it around and leave you in peace.  Obviously more useful when paired with a long range weapon, but even melee units can benefit from it.

Voltaic_FangsBlighted/Caustic/Igneous/Voltaic Fangs (Totem/Hydra/Achaea) – Stygian Chorus summons 5 Skeleton Hoplites in a line.  They can be used to block access to your more important units and distract the enemy.  They are also good for clearing enemy bombs, and generally causing mayhem and confusion.

Masque_Of_The_LotusMasque of the Lotus (Accessory/Nefarious 5/Moo Tower) – Gives a chance to charm an enemy attacker.  The chance isn’t that high, and it won’t protect anyone else, but if you are playing a pirate class that the AI often attacks (usually Buccaneers and Musketeers), it might help save you at least.


Dual Power Gear (all except Accessory and Weapon/various/Moo Tower) – Two powers in a single gear slot.  Which powers you receive depend on your class and the specific gear slot: 




  • Hat and Totem: First and Second Powers
  • Outfit and Charm: First and Third Powers
  • Boots and Ring: Second and Third Powers

The gear comes in Level 55, 60, and 65 versions (with trivial stat differences), and you are guaranteed to get one piece from each of the two 4 lock chests in the tower.  It can also drop from the Nefarious 5 and from Moo himself, and their second chance chests.  I don’t recommend loading up your pirate exclusively with this gear, because it doesn’t give enough diversity of powers, but having a few pieces in your setup can help.

ValorsValor’s Armor/Valor’s Fortress (all slots/various locations) – Valor’s Fortress cuts the damage to one unit from all attacks in half for 5 turns.  Valor’s Armor puts a “bubble” around a unit that absorbs a fixed amount of damage based on the spell power of the caster – usually between 1200 and 1400 points of damage.   Having at least one piece of gear that gives Valor’s Armor or Valor’s Fortress (or better yet, one of each) is almost a necessity.  If I had to choose just one, I’d go with Fort – the Valor’s Armor bubble gets cracked too easily in the arena.  If you’re a Privateer, you already have this one covered – other classes have to farm for them.

Valor’s Armor is on gear between levels 15 and 30.  All classes have access to at least one piece of No Auction gear with VA; Musketeers and Witchdoctors can get VA gear for Totem, Charm, and Ring slots.  Valor’s Fortress begins on level 35 gear, and is actually more prevalent than Valor’s Armor gear.  Each class has access to VF gear for at least two different gear slots.  Or you could just pick up Stormzilla’s Egg, a Totem that works for all classes. 


A good weapon is a must for all classes except Witchdoctor and Privateer.  There are many to choose from – I’ll start by listing those that I think are the best choices for each class for the arena. 

The Pick Of The Litter

Dragon_Axe_Of_DoomDragon-Axe Of Doom (Nefarious 5/Moo Tower) – Buccaneer

Does as much base damage as any other Strength based weapon in the game, even before Flames of Corruption are factored in, and the damage can be increased even further by training Slashy Weapons.  The flames themselves have only a random chance of occurring, and only do about 75-125 damage per turn.  The bigger bonus is Turn the Tide.  Bucs intrinsically have TtTide Rank 2 already, so the extra rank actually adds 25% Dodge when their health is below 50%.  The Axe is also a reasonable choice for a Swashbuckler, as long as they have trained Smashy Weapons 2.

Nefarious_KnivesNefarious Knives (Nefarious 5/Moo Tower) – Swashbuckler

Since this is an Agility based weapon, it gets the nod over the Axe for Swash use in the arena – the amount of damage is significantly higher.  If you factor in the armor pierce and the flanking ability (complete with a sneak attack!), the amount of damage you can deal is potentially much higher.  But you have to be careful with flanking; Swashes often attack while hidden, and unintentionally triggering a flanking attack (and unhiding) before resolving your mongo critical hit on the opponent you really wanted to kill in one shot can spoil your whole plan.  Walk In Darkness is a nice plus, but it isn’t like a Swash doesn’t have enough hides already.  The major benefit is it allows you to indiscriminately toss hides on the first turn if you don’t get the power you really want (hint: Black Fog).

Staff_Of_PowerStaff Of Power (Moo Manchu/Moo Tower) – Musketeer

A nice compromise between power and range.  Because of the agility bump, the base weapon power is actually a few points higher than shown, and is increased further by training Staffy Weapons.  The extra square of range can be critical when compared with a range 3 weapon, and the increased agility comes in handy for Critical Hits and Burst Fire chains.  Suppression Fire is a nice bonus, but you are unlikely to use it much.  The clear winner for Musketeers in the arena. 

Moo_Manchus_WandMoo Manchu’s Wand (Moo Manchu/Tomb Of Kow Cheng) – Witchdoctor

One of two range 6 wands in the game (the other is listed below), this is my preferred arena weapon for a Witchdoctor.  Being able to charm someone from 7 squares away (and on the first turn) is a HUGE benefit, as is being able to heal and drop Mojo Storms from distance.  It also makes a good weapon for a Privateer.  Coward’s Bane is just the icing on the cake.


Friar_Sands_Unyielding_HiriganaFriar Sand’s Unyielding Hirigana (Friar Sand/East Wind Temple) – Privateers can use any of the above weapons (except the Musketeer staff), but they deserve better than other classes’ hand-me-downs.  The Hirigana makes this list for the sole reason that it has the most awesome bestest power in the game.  Unyielding Vengeance confers complete invulnerability on all adjacent melee units for one turn.  Substituting this for any of the highest damage melee weapons in the game means sacrificing quite a bit of hitting power, but for pirates that don’t attack much (a.k.a. Privateers), it can be a good tradeoff.  And who doesn’t want to laugh evilly while watching an arena boss flail away trying to damage your team?


Some Good Alternatives

Nefarious_StaffNefarious Staff (Nefarious 5/Moo Tower) – Doesn’t have the range of Moo’s wand, but makes up for it by providing a power to summon 9 scorpions.  These don’t last any longer than most other friendly minions in the arena, but do provide extra targets (and seem to attract the arena denizens more than most summoned creatures).  Some people use these with a Beastmaster banner, which doubles their attack strength.

Phules_WandPhule’s Wand (Phule/Granchia) – The other range 6 wand in the game, and much easier to get than Moo’s wand.  It doesn’t do nearly as much damage, but that rarely matters.  Witchdoctors should be spending every turn casting a power, not using their basic wand attack.  Also, if you don’t want to farm for a wand, but still want to try the arena with a long range wand, the Darkwood Wand (Level 45, Range 5) is readily available in the bazaar.  There are also other auctionable Range 5 wands, including the Chimeric and Ptolemaic Wands (both Level 60), but they are somewhat rarer finds.


Axe_Of_The_Minotaur_LordsAxe of the Minotaur Lords (Last Fight/The Labyrinth) – An excellent alternative to the Dragon-Axe of Doom.  It doesn’t have Turn the Tide, but can often do more total damage than the Dragon-Axe because of the automatic Follow Through swing.  Damage can be boosted further by training Smashy and/or Slashy Weapons.


Nefarious_NovablasterNefarious Novablaster (Nefarious 5/Moo Tower) – Now that it’s on the list, I’ll proceed to trash it.  The 3 square range can be a serious limitation, and the special attack is very weak with an enormous drawback.  Even True Grit is a mixed blessing; if you get into a duel with an opponent who has True Grit 2 and Burst Fire 2, you’re probably going to get the worst of it.  But if you want the Shooty weapon with the highest base damage, this is it.  And if there is one place you can convince yourself that range doesn’t matter, cause things are gonna get up close and personal very quickly, it’s the arena.

BuccaneerStaff_Of_Power (5)
PrivateerStaff_Of_Power (4)
SwashbucklerStaff_Of_Power (3)
WitchdoctorStaff_Of_Power (2)

Staff Of Power (Moo Manchu/Moo Tower) – Each class gets its own unique staff.  While the Musketeer staff is clearly the pick of the bunch, all of these are decent weapons.  The Witch staff is probably next best, with two useful passive talents.  In the arena, you are unlikely to have either the time or inclination to use any of the active powers.  I’d skip the Swash staff entirely (although for PvP, Vengeance Shroud can be extremely useful).

There are also some pretty good weapons available in the Crown Shop, if you’re willing to spend some crowns.  Check out the Swivel Gun, Phrygian Frostlock, Raiding Tackle, Sea Sheller, and Boarding Knives.

The Rest Of The Arsenal

Weapons are much more of a continuum than other gear – don’t feel that you absolutely must have the best weapon before venturing into the arena.  There are plenty of other weapons (admittedly mostly No Auction) that are perfectly good choices.  Praetorian Spear, Antinous’ Blades, Antinous Shield, Bulwark of the Bound Oni, Blades Of Shade (magical damage!), Hammer of Anax, Leonis’ Breath, Dragoon’s Autoblaster, etc. etc. .

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

For that matter, don’t feel that you need most of the “best” gear before tackling the arena.  Even a few pieces of gear can make a critical difference in survivability, and your chances for success.  Try it, and if you continue to struggle, maybe a bit more gear farming will do the trick.

The next article in the series will delve into general tips and tactics.

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Leave A Comment!

  • Loving this series, Leah. Great work.

  • Fully Automatic Necromancer

    You really don’t need any sort of gear or skill for the first fight. I did it as a mid-level witchdoctor with a max swash and mid-level privateer. Despite using no companions, relentless doubloon spam from the swashbuckler and my ability to survive for a freakishly long time carried us past the first fight. (This was in practice mode, not sure if challenge is any harder)

    • leahc

      It gets more difficult as you go. As I wrote in an earlier article, you don’t get much scrip for the first few fights. But as you say, if you can bring friends and spam doubloons (both to be covered in the next article :), you can make some progress in the arena. These articles are geared more towards the player who wants to tackle it alone.

      • Seth Vint

        If that’s the case then I feel that putting a note that these articles are geared more towards solo play in the arena but can be used in a group as well at the top of the articles as well.

  • Thanks! This is just what I needed!

  • Blaze FireSword

    Using valor’s armor then valor’s fort is an amazing combo if all of the enemies are going for one companion speaking from a Privateer point of view.

  • Joshua Warren

    I prefer using the nefarious staff than Moo Manchu’s wand from Tomb of Cow Cheng because I think distractions is better than using coward’s bane when there are enemies heading on your way to attack you. This is my opinion so don’t take this too seriously.

    • Joshua Warren

      However, the good thing about the Moo Manchu’s wand from the Tomb of Cow Cheng is that is has a longer range than most of the staff and wands in pirate101.

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