Maelstrom – Wraith Guide / Builds

This ship can be very tricky to handle–even for a sloop! Let’s dive into a couple builds to help you master this Undead ship.

Guide to Wraith Ship Builds

Intro/Overview

Wraith is really difficult to play. It’s stuck somewhere between Cinder and Cleaver in terms of movement, with Dread’s cannon scheme/firing rhythm. OK hull, horrendous armor, hard to slow down or maneuver, and all that’s without necessarily knowing what loadouts work. Hopefully these builds can clear up some of those anxieties and give a well-rounded take on Wraith.

From the “Getting Started” guide:

  • The evasive sloop Wraith has speed and maneuverability to rival some of the best sloops. While excellent at playing keep-away, this ship must be careful to choose its battles wisely.
  • Cannons on aft and broadsides.
  • Ignores currents and maelstroms, and will phase through cannonballs for a time after taking damage.
  • Tier X: Phantom Force (knockback on cannonballs, crits push harder).

Pros and cons:

  • + Swift and maneuverable
  • + Decent hull for a sloop
  • + Evasive
  • – Extremely low armor and low crew
  • – Mediocre cannons
  • – Vulnerable to rams and boards
  • – Bad deceleration; floaty

Wraith is a quick and light ship designed to slip into battle when desired and disappear when not. The Ghostly passive makes it easy to run, as you can phase through cannons for a duration and ignore currents which could be in the way. Wraith can also use a Maelstrom as a protective barrier, sitting in the midst of it to ensure distance is kept. Cannonball push force and Undead Captain tricks only sweeten the deal. You can teleport away, blind the attacker, or trap them, then sail off.

Let’s have a look.

Phantom

Captain

  • Greavus Leaguemoor (try ’em all)

Mates

  • Quartermaster–Resist; Nanael
  • Master Gunner–Sail; Tumor [Dawnguard Karn]
  • Navigator–Legendary; Wikken the Lost -OR- Shipwright–Resist; Caedmon

Level 5 Traits: Cautious, Guarded, Dead Water Sprint, Stealthy, Sneaky

Hardpoints

  • Cannons: Windreaper
  • Utility: Blightwick Mast
  • Defense: Ghastly Cabins
  • Offense: Deadeye Gunports

As many Undead do, this build aims to mirror Human gameplay, mostly focusing on being a smooth transition from Cinder (obviously). How close are we starting off?

Speed? Check. While not necessarily as fast as Cinder, Wraith has it beat in evasion and slipperiness. Turning? Fine enough. Not great but there’s more cannon coverage, and we can’t ask much more of an Undead. Cannons? Ouch.

Wraith’s firepower is distributed to broadsides and aft, so more coverage means a little less punch per volley. Turning’s more vital in this respect, but it’s manageable once you learn how to generally maneuver with Wraith. Here’s the main problem: we don’t have Harbringers. There are Windreapers, which have the range and more damage, but those are quite inaccurate. Why don’t we fix that?

To be clear, Windreapers offer high iron/sail damage, and have exceptional range. They suffer greatly in spread, firing delay, and reload. Spread and delay are assisted dramatically with the addition of a Master Gunner, especially since we’re dealing with percentages. I opted for the Sail one because it makes you even better at evading ships. Just the addition of this mate makes Windreapers feel almost exactly like Harbringers. The legendary adds more speed and higher firing delay stats, which may be well worth the hit to sail health (this debuff is overwhelmed by Blightwick Mast).

Stacking the Resist Quartermaster with Ghastly cabins provides several benefits. First, the reload speed buff stacks, cutting the time down to 9 seconds. Secondly, the board resist also stacks for an unparalleled 80%. Between this, Ghostly, and sheer speed, you achieve maximum slipperiness. It’s worth noting that you now need to be slippery because of no bulk defensive buffs that let you tank hits. It’s a scary way to play, but it’s quite rewarding if you can pull it off.

Since there’s not much room left from fixing the cannons, adding a mate such as Fungus is going to give limited results. You’re welcome to try it, but if you can get your hands on Wikken the Lost, do so. This means more speed and damage, which are already being amplified. The armor penalty can be a good thing if you find a mate with Cautious; you’ll have much higher movement during entire battles this way, especially considering Siphon. However, if you really want to opt for a defensive mate, consider Caedmon, the Resist Shipwright. He’ll keep you in good shape to drag on fights for longer (which is necessary if you don’t have as high damage or speed).

I don’t think it’s a secret that Greavus is my favorite Undead captain, but he does offer some spectacular damage output that Wraith needs. Merriden will solidify your reputation as the slipperiest ship ever to exist, which is kinda cool. Morte also helps you disappear quickly and makes it much harder for you to be hit. This one’s flexible because it really just depends on what you like about Wraith.

Soulpiercer

Captain

  • Merriden Harrowfel

Mates

  • Bosun–Resist; Fungus
  • Powder Monkey–Crit; Wolfram [Algorn Tolltaker]
  • Cook–Crit; Tombeater -OR- Lookout–Crit; Cobium [Calliope the Red]

Level 5 Traits: Guarded, Sneaky, Thrill of Victory, Stealthy, Zephyr

Hardpoints

  • Cannons: Torrent
  • Utility: Blightwick Mast
  • Defense: Calcified Plating
  • Offense: Soulseeker Gunports

Crits

The principal principle here is critical damage. Between Torrent cannons, Soulseeker Gunports, and a Powder Monkey, you achieve 500% critical damage, the highest possible in the game.

Coupling with Blightwick Mast and a Crit mate (3rd listed), this gets 20% crit chance, or 25% if you run Merriden. Sneaky and Thrill of Victory are great picks to capitalize on these. Torrent cannons have poor base damage, so use Ghostly and fog banks to get the most out of your crit damage. Also keep in mind the low reload time, and consider just firing the same quadrant again instead of turning if you know they can outmaneuver you. Torrents perform beautifully in all areas except raw damage.

That said, we need to address Wraith’s painfully low defense. This one’s much less slippery than the Phantom and Wraith still has horrendous armor with mediocre hull. There’s some hope though; with Calcified Plating and Fungus, you get 50% armor damage resist (turns to 70% with Guarded anytime you go ghostly or hit fog). I don’t think I can overstate the value of this with Undead Siphon. So long as you keep the pressure on from a distance, shoving them with crits, you’ll constantly heal with double-value armor points.

Merriden Harrowfel has a lot more reason to be put on this ship as a reactionary fix to the lower mobility and lack of board resistance. Having reduced cooldown from a cook makes it more pleasant too. Greavus is still a good pick because he offers solid base damage without relying on crits. And Morte is good for suppressing tactics during battle or evasion. Like I said, try ‘em all.

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