Here is how I would rank the Super Rare packs from best to worst. This was VERY difficult, and other than the couple stinkers, you could really just arrange this in almost any order. Yeah, now that I think about it, this is just a crapshoot. XD
1. Barbary Coast: Black Lotus , Tiger’s Breath , Zheng Li Kwan , 2 Captains
This one was just pretty darn good overall. Nothing weak, and everything was at least good if not great. The Black Lotus is a cool hybrid, while the Tiger’s Breath is a very good gold runner for the Jades. This version of Kwan wasn’t as good as the rare iteration, but I like the thought of him gaining skills over time. The double captains was a nice touch, giving the pack a whopping 5 total game pieces. I just don’t have any complaints!
2. Caribbean: Black Pearl , Fantasia , Cursed Captain Jack , Kraken Gong
Maybe the most exciting or diverse pack, which gets it high marks in my book. This version of the BP is easily the worst, but really isn’t too bad of a ship. 4 cargo or nixing Fear to make her 10-12 points would have made her more competitive. The Fantasia is a cool way for Disney to subtly advertise their non-PotC content without it being obvious, since the ship is so rare. Also makes it a collectible piece for people who don’t even care about Pirates. XD CCJ is one of my least favorite crew to play against, as evidenced by VASSAL CG1. He’s extremely powerful and can ruin games more and more the bigger they get. The Kraken Gong went too far, but is a funny gimmick that can really turn a game on its head. A weird example where the crew and UT are far more game-breaking than either of the ships, but that makes it more memorable.
3. Davy Jones’ Curse: Behemoth , Mist Walker , “Screaming” Mimi , The Red Skull
The first of three all-creature packs, and definitely the best of them. Behemoth is crazy cool and unique. Mist Walker is VERY playable as far as sea creatures go, and it’s awesome to have a monster that can fog hop. Mimi was one of the first L-movers, a very fitting ability for the Cursed to dominate. The Red Skull is the only weak part of this pack, since it’s generally irrelevant.
4. Savage Shores: Maui’s Fishhook , Honu Iki , Lady Kamaile , Necklace of the Sky
English are my favorite faction, and they got some good stuff in this one. MF is objectively the worst hoist even considering RtSS, but isn’t really a bad ship. Honu Iki gives the English another pure-bred gold runner, something they’ll always appreciate. Kamaile is very tough to use, but I managed to include her in a cool fleet (that could really use more votes and comments!). Necklace of the Sky is little-known but can be devastating when used at the opportune moment. (spoilers) In CG1 I flipped it to teleport an overloaded (meaning 16 total cannons O_O) HMS Dreadnought right into Cursed territory where she was able to basically sink anything she shot at.
5. Rise of the Fiends: Crusher , Doombox , Captain Mysion , Silver Explorer
I have a bit of bias for this one, since I’ve gotten little obsessed with the flavor text. Mysion is one of the more interesting characters in the game, and seems to change from each version to the next. This is the coolest artwork he got, in addition to a very nice gameplay version. Parley for 1 point is just incredible, and he’s probably one of the most underrated named crew in the game due to lack of usage. I’ll never like Scorpions, but the Crusher is both shiny (lol) and far better than most of the Cursed ones. On the other hand, I’ll always like flotillas, and Doombox is a nice one that outperforms Widowmaker (and is much cooler looking). The Silver Explorer may not seem like much, but the coins from that card have provided some fun for me in campaign games (CG’s), with shiny silver being worth 3 times its printed value.
6. Return to Savage Shores: Fetu, Pararaihe, Lady Roimata, Eye of Maru
To me this one is cool but OP. Honestly the link is just too good… Hoists are kind of OP as-is, so letting one go L+L+S+L+L+S with minimal effort (just 24 points with Madame LaFontaine and a helmsman) was not the best choice. I like the sloop, but I’d actually rather use her as a hybrid due to the ramming problem. I like the UT for sniping.
7. Fire and Steel: Skin Flayer , Silver Coffin , Tabitha McWarren , Soul Mark
This one is mostly about that big bad ship. The Skin Flayer can be made into a devastating capital ship with the right high-priced Cursed crew aboard. Silver Coffin is inferior to Death’s Anchorfor me, but importantly gives them another platform from which to fire (Cursed will take everything they can get to compete lol). Tabby was really just a clone of Mimi, but those eyes (not shown in that picture) can get you. XD Soul Mark was a cool variation on the Letters of Marque equipment, and shows that Wizkids wasn’t completely lazy when designing one of their worst sets.
8. South China Seas: Monkey’s Paw , Samedi’s Curse , El Fantasma , The Cursed
A tale of two halves. The Monkey’s Paw and Fantasma are great, giving the Cursed rare options for 5 masted firepower and home island raiding. Fantasma is known for having cool artwork, and this may be my favorite version for that. The MP has the speed and firepower to be a Cursed flagship in just about any game. However, the other half of the pack holds it back quite a lot. Samedi’s Curse isn’t much more than a flotilla tug or expendable explorer in a big game. The UT is sort of cool, but Fear just doesn’t affect gameplay much. Still a very good SR pack for artwork overall.
9. Mysterious Islands: Cadara , Shaihulud , Queen Teresa Pavon , Nemo’s Plans
I think this one is cool but somewhat average. The creatures and named crew are decent, giving the Mercenaries the odd option of having sea monsters in their fleet. And then of course there’s Nemo’s Plans, which, unlike some of the other SR’s that I feel deserve attention, has certainly been talked about quite a lot.
10. Revolution: Asp , Star of Siam , Wesley , chainshot specialist
I used to like this one more, and I still don’t have it in physical form. However, it feels like a bit of a letdown. At the time it would have been incredible, giving the Pirates an amazing gold runner and foreshadowing a cool and aesthetic new ship type. In hindsight the SoS is the only memorable thing here. The Asp and Wesley just aren’t that great, and the chainshot specialist feels like a wasted opportunity to do a named crew with a generic crew ability (chainshot specialist + helmsman or something, etc).
11. Crimson Coast: Roanoke
Might catch some flak for this one, but I care about quantity as well as quality with these things. The first SR “pack” was just one ship, although it’s one of my favorite American ships in the game. It started the SR pack trend as well as the “preview” theme that saw action for a bunch of SR packs afterwards. Love the ship, but there’s not enough here to justify ranking it above the other options.
12. Frozen North: Urd , Verdani , Runes of Death
I can’t get into this one. Urd is somewhat cool but just meh. She could have 2S guns or S+L speed and not be OP. Verdani is too fragile for her abilities to work well, and would almost never see action in standard games. Runes of Death is kinda cool but just nasty. Feels like a weak pack with just 3 pieces, none of which are that great. Don’t know why they couldn’t have just tossed in some Cursed viking freakazoid with some outlandish ability. XD
13. Ocean’s Edge: Brachyura , Squalo , Captain
Almost objectively the worst of the packs, this had nothing new… other than… glitter. Yeah. Wizkids made a big mistake with this one. Making it even worse is that of the cloned pieces, one of them is a near-useless shark, understandably one of the most despised ship types ever. The only saving grace was that SR packs rebounded after this set, and the rest of OE was decent if lackluster.