Maelstrom – Ashborne Guide / Builds

The human frigate, Ashborne. Melt everyone in your path with these builds.

Intro / Overview

This ship prides itself on taking the Human principle of “hard and fast” to the highest level possible. Fast, durable, and filled to the brim with cannons, Ashborne has established itself as a quintessential ship for pure damage. Figuring out how to play this ship can make your aiming more accurate and gameplay overall better on other ships. But of course, it’s a great ship by itself, especially if you have the right build.

From the “Getting Started” guide:

Ashborne, the Human frigate, has lethal firepower further rewarded by sequential volleys. She is a dangerous foe with good speed, but if enemies are given too much time, Ashborne can be in peril.

  • Cannons only on broadsides
  • Damage boost after full reload
  • Tier X: Incendiary Cannonballs (Iron shot lights ships on fire with cooldown, dealing direct hull damage over time)
  • Pros and cons:
    + Punishingly powerful volleys (will deal with armor by simply removing it)
    + Decent speed
    – Poor fore and aft armor
    – Ramming and boarding builds can be dangerous

Woe to the ship who faces an Ashborne’s broadside. Its painfully powerful cannons will deal still more damage after a successful reload. This ship’s strategy involves simple, sheer force. Once you can achieve a rhythm with reloading, evading, turning, and firing, few enemies stand a chance.

Prolonged encounters are not advised. Ashborne has abysmal fore and aft armor, which can only be further exploited when surrounded by multiple attackers. If possible, circle around to give yourself some space, and let them all have it. Boarding and ramming can be a scalpel to the throat, so put extra emphasis on evading those.

Ashborne is a broadside player. You want to make sure most of the business goes on there. If you get hit, try to ensure it’s on a broadside which can take the hit rather than your fore or aft. Never intentionally let those take the blow until necessary; many hits will punch right through to your hull. With a combination of speed and power, command the engagement volley after volley until the enemy is sunk.

Without further ado, let’s hop in.

Inferno

  • Captain: Morrigan Shale

Mates

  • Shipwright–Resist; Holden [Ross the Architect]
  • Bosun–Regen; Misty [Freckles Peppins]
  • Powder Monkey–Crit; Beckett [Halle of Corinth]

Level 5 Traits:

  • Thrill of Victory, Zephyr, Sneaky, Killer Instinct

Hardpoints

  • Cannons: Phoenix
  • Utility: Harbringers Rudder
  • Defense: Reinforced Cabins
  • Offense: Platecracker Gunports

BURN.
MELT.
INCINERATE.

Key words for this build, whether discussing its fiery hull damage capabilities or critical power. This build inflicts reliable direct hull damage on par with boarding, but this is while pummeling their armor with a staggering amount of iron damage. When you do break it (doesn’t take long), there’s not much left to finish. All this while having amazing defense to back it up–it’s hard to pass this one up.

350% critical damage is easily possible with the mates, cannons, and Morrigan. You’ll up hull/armor damage if you can get the legendaries too. Paired with 15% crit chance (25% with Halle) and the right level 5 traits, it makes for a good time. Obviously you’ll want to invest in higher burn time and burn damage on Morrigan first. Between this and incendiary rounds, no ship is safe.

Let’s take a moment to discuss that famous defense. Reinforced cabins give 30% hull, and a resist shipwright can take that far–or, with Ross on board, make that 130%. Halle’s resist debuff isn’t as big a problem with that in mind. Halle’s armor resistance can also stack with Freckles, giving the full 30% resist with full regen. Needless to say, I really like the legendaries.

There’s not much more to add on this. Burn and crit to your heart’s content.

Bruiser

  • Captain: Flint Brinetide

Mates

  • Shipwright–Resist; Holden [Ross the Architect]
  • Bosun–Resist; Edeva [Freckles Peppins]
  • Powder Monkey–Iron; Frost [Ashy the Raven]

Level 5 Traits:

  • Dominion, Zephyr, Getaway, Stealthy

Hardpoints

  • Cannons: Human Ouroboros lol
  • Utility: Harbringers Rudder
  • Defense: Plate Armor
  • Offense: Overmount Gunports

This build runs on cannons and more cannons. And if that doesn’t work, more cannons. Pure brawn shreds through armor. You keep yours intact by superior turning, speed, and control. My inspiration for this build came from Undertow, specifically the Undying. (Undertow’s actually what got me to start playing this ship in the first place, fun fact.) Not so much on the defense as the speed and damage, however. Humans have some great boosts to straight cannon damage because of their legendaries and high base values. Capitalize on it with very high base damage and watch your ship remove an entire quadrant and half their hull in one volley.

If you do get the legendaries, Ross and Ashy will add +25% iron damage. This is pretty self-explanatory. Overmount Gunports adding 2 extra cannons per side make the most of this buff. However, these cannons are still very inaccurate, and we didn’t have any room to fix that with mates. Turning’s very important, and Flint gives a lot of necessary control to ensure you’re in place when and where you want.

There’s not quite as much hull as the previous build, but there’s no hull damage resist to worry about from Halle and Ashy gives a great speed boost to boot. Your maneuverability is key, and if all else fails you can fall back to boarding with high crew damage output.

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