Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag – Defeating The Legendary Ships

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 7.32.48 PMWhenever something is described as being ‘Legendary’ it means that it is something remarkable enough to be famous and well known. So when I heard of the four Legendary Ships in Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, I was expecting vessels such as the “Old Ironsides”, HMS Victory, or at the very least a ghost ship such as The Flying Dutchmen. What we found instead was much more sinister and threatening.

The four Legendary Ships found at the ends of the world map are in reality five immensely vessels that even a fully upgraded ship can’t possibly fight blindly. So here’s your one stop shop to everything you need to know.

Primer: Fully upgrade your ship to Elite status – even fire barrels. It’ll truly make everything easier. . . or plausible.

El Impoluto (top left):

This Spanish juggernaut waste no time in trying to sink any challengers.

This Spanish juggernaut waste no time in trying to sink any challengers.

            Ironically translated as “The Unblemished”, this ship is in no way afraid to get dirty. If you though pirate hunter Briggs were ram happy, you haven’t seen anything yet. With not even fire barrels deterring a head on assault, this is one naval battle to truly set the tone of your upcoming ‘legendary’ opponents.

Mortars, heavy shots, swivels, ram, use whatever you can to blast away at this monstrosity as quickly as possible. What makes or breaks this strategy is the opening. From the second combat begins, get ready because El Impoluto is coming straight for you. It’s best to stay straight then fire chase cannons and quickly shift left at the last moment – with any luck you’ll just miss its ram and retaliate with fire barrels. Don’t give it a second, turn with it and unleash a second batch of fire barrels.

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 12.14.36 AM

This ships ability to seemingly leap out of the water will leave you speechless . . . and probably underneath it.

Where you end up after this determines your strategy. Whether you use chase cannons to slow it down and ram it or pummel away with other means, just keep on the offensive and try to stay close. If it gets in position to ram you, one batch of fire barrels won’t be enough. It’ll plow right through them if it’s close enough, or worse – land on top of you.

Sometimes El Impoluto will jump depending on how it hits the waves and will try to land on top of the Jackdaw – clearly causing major damage. So stay close in a good way and keep pounding away at this juggernaut, because once it gets going, it won’t stop.

La Dama Negra (bottom left):

With an Iron-sided-hull, this ship is almost invulnerable.

With an Iron-sided-hull, this ship masters defense to make up for its lower than average health.

Translated as “The Black Lady” – or perhaps “The Lady Black” and there is some connection to the multiplayer character – this is one ship you won’t soon forget. Between an impervious iron hull and mortar shots that give off no warning, this ship will haunt your nightmares for days to come. So how do you damage it?

When the battle starts immediately try to get behind the monstrous Man-O-War, that is where its weakness lies. Despite all of its armaments, it failed to reinforce it stern. Constant volleys of Heavy Shots will open up Swivel targets on the stern, but this approach won’t make a significant enough dent. Considering this ship’s speed, by time you turn around you’ll be demolished by the La Dama’s Mortar shots.

Instead of concentrating on firepower, RAM IT! Get up behind the vessel as originally advised and hit it with your chase cannons to slow it down. Once you are in close enough, speed ahead to ram it – make sure you ‘Brace’ before impact to lessen recoil damage. Repeat this strategy again and again (Chase, Brace, Ram) until she sinks.

HMS Prince (bottom right):

Out of the mists, this ghost-like ship appears demonstrating otherworldly speed.

Out of the mists, this ghost-like ship appears demonstrating otherworldly speed and power.

Like its name, this is actually the most straightforward of all the Legendary Ship battles. Between devastating mortar shots and impressive speed, this ship can certainly be powerful, but it is much more favorable fight compared to your last two adversaries.

The Prince will try to keep its distance from you and fire Mortars, but with the warning signs back it’s possible to dodge these mortars easily – just make sure you do.  Try to get in close enough to use your broadsides and finish off with precision swivel shots, but not too close from fear of retaliation broadsides.

Slowing your opponent down with chase cannons and ramming will also work, but just make sure you don’t do it on broadside – and fall victim to oncoming broadsides. Overall with this opponent, be ready for a long battle. Stay vigilant and keep pounding away. Your hard work will pay off.

The Brothers-In-Arms (top right):

If you think these ships well choreographed attack patterns are scary, just wait for one of them to get angry.

If you think these ships’ well choreographed attack patterns are scary, just wait for one of them to get angry.

The Royal Sovereign (white sails) and HMS Fearless (black sails), these almost identical ships aim to surround and obliterate any and all challenging vessels. You will have to stay on constant alert to not get in between these two vessels – or worse, face them one at a time.

Both ships will usually sail around you, meet up, then sail around you again. Your goal is to not get trapped in between them, which is easier said than done. When the battle first starts, try to use chase cannons to slow one and sail toward it. Just don’t get too attached to pummeling away at one ship for 2 reasons:

  1. If you take your eye off one ship for too long, it will come to its partner’s aid and try to trap you another way
  2. When you sink one ship, the other’s behavior will drastically change and become exponentially more powerful.
As one ship sinks, the other bursts into flames to avenge its fallen comrade.

As one ship sinks, the other bursts into flames to avenge its fallen comrade.

As to best avoid this, spread the love. Spend time on each vessel equally, making sure not to sink one just yet. When both are very low on health, pick one and sink it. Once you do, IMMEDIATELY focus your attention on the other ship.

Whichever ship is left will immediately burst into flames  – I’m assuming the flames were crew lit in order to give the sails more wind? – and head straight for you. If you thought the HMS Prince was fast, you haven’t seen anything yet. In mere seconds, this ship can close any distance. Fire barrels won’t deter it either. One way or another, this ship will hit you and will deal massive damage when it does. This is why it’s very important you took time to weaken both opponents. With any luck you can sink this monster in the seconds before it hits you by firing some mortars in front of it – so it’ll sail into them – and releasing some more fire barrels.

You’ve done it! You survived and are now ‘The Devil of the Caribbean’, but you get more than just a fancy title. Remember when your opponent suddenly got ridiculous speed to either flee or ram you? IT’S NOW YOURS!!!!!! The Ram Attack is a powerful new option that can be great both offensively and defensively, so have fun Assassins! If you haven’t already, go take on some Naval Contracts. You’ll laugh at how simple they seem now that you are the sole Legendary Ship.

As a reward for defeating all 5 Legendary Ships, your Jackdaw obtains the Charge Attack to crush its foes.

As a reward for defeating all 5 Legendary Ships, your Jackdaw obtains the Charge Attack to crush its foes.

This will most likely be the last ‘Tips and Tricks’ article for the AC4 main story. If you have any questions or need some help on difficult trophies/challenges/etc, please Like on Facebook and I’ll be more than happy to answer any and all questions.

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