Published to Miniature Trading on July 10th, 2016
Miniature Review: Davy Jones – Emperor of the Seven Seas
Set: Pirates at Ocean’s Edge
Collector’s Number: 016
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Ability: Limit. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 1–4, you may give this ship an extra action; on a 5, you may give any ship you control an extra action; on a 6, you may give an enemy ship an action.
Link: All Cursed Ships
Flavor text: As his power grows and his minions cause more destruction, Jones has begun his second wave of terror, one that will take his power beyond the edge of the oceans themselves—setting him up to rule the seas once and for all!
This is the first proper review of the legendary crew. I was surprised he hadn’t been reviewed, as he’s one of the most popular and powerful crew in the entire game, and even comes from the most common set, Ocean’s Edge. Davy Jones quickly became one of my favorite crew after acquiring him back in 2011. Since then he has participated in a huge number of my games, often playing a pivotal or decisive role.
Use him as he’s intended – to be one of the most powerful crew of all time! A true legend, Davy Jones is not to be trifled with. He will almost always be your Cursed admiral, leading your fleet from a ship that will likely be a Cursed flagship. Since he needs a ship that costs at least 12 points, he will almost certainly be used on a gunship. This guy is meant for destruction.
Strategies and game play:
Strategically, Davy Jones is the ultimate crew in any game. He provides a guaranteed extra action every single turn, making him a huge threat. He will likely have a huge target on his back as soon as he’s revealed, but his ability should help him immensely. With his (presumably) monster gunship getting two actions most turns, he will be very difficult to take out.
One of the coolest things about Davy Jones is that 6 roll. It’s one of the absolute best ways to mess with your opponent and their strategies. My gimmicky Mind Controlfleet is just about my favorite fleet I’ve submitted, and Davy Jones is the centerpiece. Rolling a 5 can also be a huge game-changer, as it allows you to give ANY of your ships an extra action. This becomes more and more valuable as the game size increases, since you’ll have more options. I’d recommend using Davy Jones in games of any size, but especially in larger games where he can really shine.
Combos with other miniatures:
The combos with Davy Jones are mainly limited by his point cost. Although he must serve on a ship that costs at least 12 points (and preferably at least 17 to allow for a captain and helmsman), this isn’t a huge problem for the Cursed since they have so many expensive ships.
DJ’s ship will be getting tons of extra actions (up to 83% of all turns!), so he’s best used in conjunction with other useful crew. Giving his ship a captain and helmsman not only makes that ship extremely powerful, but it also allows you to essentially use the captain and helmsman abilities twice per turn, theoretically doubling their value. Any other abilities that can be used more than once in a turn (such as White Crew or Switchblade) are immediately more viable since DJ gives them another chance to function and provide value.
-Basic setup: 17+ point ship w/ DJ, captain, helmsman. An 18 point ship is nice since you could add an oarsman for insurance since all three main crew are extremely important.
Since even the Cursed don’t have a ton of ships that cost more than 18 points, that basic setup is used quite often. The more elaborate combos are usually reserved for deathmatches or games with build totals of at least 80 points. Here are a few of the specific ones worth mentioning:
-The shipwright ability could be used twice in a row with DJ, allowing your flagship to repair twice in one turn. This could come in quite handy, but make sure the ship is out of danger before repairing unless your foe has one mast left or your ship is already derelict.
-If you have an L-mover in your fleet, DJ’s 5 can actually give them another chance to roll that potentially devastating 5 or 6. Especially in fleets based on controlling the enemy (such as Mind Control), it can be insurance for when Davy Jones doesn’t roll a 6 (which will be quite often of course).
-Both versions of Sammy the Skull are viable named captains with an extra ability. The latter version’s Fear could come in handy with reverse captain, while the DJC version could be used with switchblade combos as discussed below.
–El Fantasma could be used with the Delusion (mentioned below) as a home island raider. He would likely be a surprise reveal in such an expensive setup.
-The SS version of Wraith is a fun crew that could give Davy Jones a vast arsenal of extra weapons if he gets lucky. I’d recommend using Wraith on a huge ship (preferably a 10 master) in a campaign game for maximum impact.
-As for Mercenary crew, Captain Nemo and Ibrahan Ozat (mentioned below) can make for some really interesting combos. Christian Fiore and Thane Hartless provide two abilities the Cursed don’t otherwise have on crew: canceller (with the exception of RtSS Papa Doc) and reroll. The reroll could be especially useful in huge games where you’re trying to maximize the amount of 5’s and 6’s rolled.
-Finally, Cavendish opens up a crazy amount of possibilities. There are numerous Delusion/Guichuan fleets on this site utilizing Cavendish (or Tabatha McWarren), and for brevity’s sake I won’t list any specific combos. These types of crew also exist in other factions, such as Crimson Angel and Brother Virgil. This could lead to extremely powerful combos aboard some of the non-Cursed 10 masters, as well as ships like HMS Dreadnought or even HMS Prince of Chichester with Robinson.
Crew combos I would NOT recommend: El Fantasma (DJ already gives EA’s), specialist crew (can only use their abilities once per turn, not once per ACTION), Merrow/Tidal Fiends (oarsmen do the same job for less cost).
One of my favorite and oft-used setups for Davy Jones is on the Divine Dragon. This classic ship from OE (the same set as DJ) is the only 6 masted junk the Cursed possess, and functions well as a flagship. Her guns leave something to be desired, but with Davy Jones aboard they’ll be shooting twice more often than not! With this setup, you must add Sir Edmund with a captain and helmsman in order to make it legal (this leaves the Divine Dragon with 16 points of crew after Edmund’s subtractions and his 2 point cost). With the general rarity of using these -1 crew, I believe this overall setup to be one of the most ideal in the game. The Divine Dragon is also a perfect flagship for Davy, boasting a whopping 6 masts and up to 6S overall speed. The combo comes to 35 total points, so it’s best to use it when the game size is larger than the standard 40 points.
The Executioner is another great spot to put Davy Jones. At 17 points, you won’t need Sir Edmund to make the generic combo work. The Executioner moves faster than the Divine Dragon and also has better guns with a captain aboard, so this setup is extremely lethal. I prefer the Divine Dragon between her durability and my affinity for 6 masted junks, but those who prefer speed will favor the Executioner. This setup is a bit more fragile, but hits extremely hard and fast when used properly.
The original Flying Dutchman works well at 17 points, enough for a captain and helmsman to come aboard. However, the Dutchman’s slow speed, overpriced Broadsides Attack (especially on a ship with all L-range guns!), and vulnerability of the crew make this a somewhat less attractive option. The Monkey’s Paw would also work well, trading firepower for speed.
The Cursed have two switchblades, the Skin Flayer and Sickle. Both are viable options with their high point costs, but the Skin Flayer is a far superior ship. As mentioned above, DJ’s 1-4/5 roll gives you the option to use very powerful abilities like Switchblade more than once in a turn. With up to L+S+L+S movement, the Skin Flayer could theoretically ram and board tons of ships in a single turn. When you combine that with eight 2S shots, an enemy squadron could be completely devastated. Unfortunately DJ is so expensive that you’ll only have 4 points left on either switchblade after adding the standard captain and helmsman, which would generally be filled by an oarsman and possibly another generic crew such as a shipwright.
Of course, the 10 masters. The Guichuan and Delusion are probably the best ships Davy Jones can serve on, between the protection they give him and the amount of combos available. Just looking at Cursed combos alone, there are numerous crew you could put on either 10 master to make them downright lethal. The SCS and DJC versions of Fantasma are viable, as are White Crew and Sammy the Skull. However, one of the most potent combos with the Delusion is my all-time favorite Delusion setup.
-Delusion + Davy Jones, Captain Nemo, Ibrahan Ozat, Christian Fiore, Sir Edmund captain, helmsman, shipwright
This gives the Delusion a whopping 41 points of crew, which only fits because of DJ’s link and Edmund’s discount. Here you have a ship moving L+S+L+S each turn ripping off 20 shots and capturing as many crew as possible (up to 4-6 per turn I believe!). In addition, there’s a canceller and shipwright for insurance.
Similar setups can be created with the Guichuan, and adding Cavendish to either ship can allow for extremely powerful and unique one-of-a-kind setups.
The Cursed have numerous other ships that cost at least 16 points (viable with the Sir Edmund combo), but most of them aren’t suitable for DJ because of fragility or lack of firepower. Of these lesser options the Specter might be the “best of the rest”, but far from ideal.
As for giving other ships an extra action on DJ’s 5 roll: If a switchblade has a crew like White Crew aboard, an extra action could allow them to kill horrendous amounts of enemies in a short span of time. A sea monster could be given the extra action to shoot after moving, including a surprise swoop attack. If you’re using Return to Savage Shores (RtSS) proxies, imagine giving Namazu a second wave attack! That could absolutely devastating if used in a large game at the right moment. The RtSS version of Papa Doc (canceller and +1 to boarding rolls) is another great option, as he’s the only crew canceller the Cursed have. (As a side note, the Black Coral from RtSS actually pairs reasonably well with Jones. At 15 points you only have room for a captain, but at that point you’d have a decent hybrid with Eternal and Secret Hold (and 3 open cargo spaces), making it an ideal ship to steal from enemy runners.)
It’s worth noting that Chariot of the Gods could allow someone to put Jones on a sea monster, which could give the monster a rare opportunity to move and shoot in the same turn. As for other UT combos, Eye of Insanity and Runes of Thor both pair well with Jones.
Also, one of the Davy Jones’ best but little-known assets is his link to all Cursed ships, which means that some of these ships could pick up a few coins (or steal them) while sailing around at high speeds.
Ways to counteract it:
The best ways to counteract Davy Jones are to avoid him, go after him directly with your own monster gunship, or cancel him. He’s such a powerful and devastating crew that there’s not much you can do against him. Duel is technically an option, but you’ll need an extremely expensive crew of your own. If you have a treasure running fleet, just run. If you can take him on directly, do so to let the gold runners do their thing while DJ is distracted. As for taking him on directly, things like Exploding Shot or cargo wreckers could come in handy. Lastly, since crew like Blackbeard and Captain Nemo automatically go for the highest value crew on the opposing ship, they are great options for trying to nab DJ right from underneath your opponent’s strategy.
Davy Jones is such a unique crew that he doesn’t have much competition. However, a few games pieces stand out really well:
Davy Jones – The original DJC version of Jones is similarly unique and amazing, allowing you to copy virtually any ability in play. Although this ability is extremely powerful, especially when used on a 10 master to copy defensive or offensive abilities, you’ll often be copying abilities that cost much less than 11 points. If your opponent doesn’t bring a lot of fun or powerful abilities to the table, this Davy Jones won’t be as useful. I prefer the OE Davy Jones because extra actions cannot really be overrated, and because the OE Jones is even more flexible in my opinion. (DJC DJ is limited by the abilities available to him, but OE DJ can gives EA’s to different ships every turn of the game.)
Emperor Blackheart – the Pirate version of Davy Jones. There’s not much to say here, other than that the Pirates are a much better faction than the Cursed. It just depends on which faction you’re playing and to a lesser degree whether you’re using the Zeus for Blackheart’s link or not. The Cursed even the odds slightly with the Eye of Insanity, which is often used to copy Davy Jones’ All-Powerful ability, potentially giving a player access to two ships with the ability.
Behemoth – Another Cursed game piece with the Limit keyword, forcing you to choose between him and Davy Jones. Jones is generally a better choice, but Behemoth is one of the best sea monsters in the game.
-Extremely powerful ability
-Guaranteed extra action every single turn
-Can give an EA to one of your ships
-Can give an opponent’s ship an action (!)
-Giant, record-high point cost (severely limiting ship and crew combos)
-Cursed faction is lacking
Artwork and aesthetics:
I absolutely love the artwork. When I first got Davy Jones I was extremely excited. Seeing the artwork, reading the ability and flavor text, I was simply ecstatic. Wizkids truly hit a home run with this crew. His anger, the way the picture looks, the way he fits into the OE set, everything is perfect. I give the artwork a 10/10.
Davy Jones gets a 9/10 from me. He loses a point for being so expensive, and therefore having trouble not only with crew and ship combos, but also with fitting into point limits (30-50 point games) that are extremely common. However, he’s a true legend of the high seas, one of the most unique and powerful crew ever created, and in my opinion one of the most “perfect” crew in the game.