Ranking sharks is not difficult. Only three sharks were released by Wizkids, not including the Super Rare variant of Squalo with no stat changes. They were all part of Ocean’s Edge. Unfortunately, they are generally the worst sea creatures in the game’s history. This is notable because most sea creatures in general are horrific in gameplay to begin with – often unplayable in remotely competitive settings. As a result, this is not exactly a “player’s guide”. However, Tindwunnel of the Discord server asked about this exact topic, which made me want to start making some Rankings again. Without further ado I will rank the trio of sharks! 🙂
1. Squalo (both versions as they are identical for gameplay purposes)
This is the only shark with a single digit point cost. No cargo space for stolen gold, just like the others. Not enough base move to hunt enemies down effectively, like the others. And no special abilities that really make up for the lack of other positive qualities. You can see how bad these monsters are. However, I think Squalo is the best because it’s the cheapest, and using Fear while submerged is likely to be of greater benefit than trying to board enemies while swimming at L or S+S speed and only 2 segments to start a boarding party from.
Fear is not a good ability, but it can be a bit nasty, especially if you can affect multiple enemies in a turn with it, or scare off heavily crewed ships with the handy 5 roll. Using it while submerged in a crowded area has some niche potential. The firepower is decent, with the beast being stronger in the jaws than the tail. However, at just L speed it’s unlikely to do just about anything without some help. To that end, good pieces to pair with it are L boosters like The Hag of Tortuga (RotF version), or trade current generators like the Celestine and Master Scribe.
Even as the easiest shark to fit into fleets and with that nifty chance to cancel (via Fear) while submerged, Squalo very rarely sees play. It was a nice piece to have in my first Other Worlds game. Link to buy on eBay (as uncommons from OE, these are readily available)
At 3 points more than Squalo, you’d expect to get considerably more shark for your points in Carcharodon. However, this is not really the case, as the French shark has less accuracy, speed too slow for a creature that can’t carry a helmsman, and an ability that, while conventionally more powerful than Fear, has little business on a 12 point 2 master. S+S speed is not usually fast enough to catch much of anything, and though you can “surprise board” by surfacing at the last second, boarding parties are better off when launched from game pieces with higher mast/segment counts. 2 is not a good starting point, though at least you realistically won’t have any crew or coins to lose if the attack is repelled. The French do have an L booster crew in Jules Arnaud, but making Carcharodon fast enough to catch something is unlikely to be worth it. It appears I’ve only used it twice, and you can probably guess if its fleets won. Link to buy on eBay
Finally we come to the worst of the sharks, ironically named after one of the most famous pirates of all time. This one does have slightly better firepower than the others, but it has the least to offer – the highest point cost, and slow speed that does not pair well at all with its Massacre ability. I did use Teach in the OE 10th anniversary game, but it got absolutely torn apart by El Toro. My only other memory of it is even worse, when it seemed possessed to attack me as an NPC. Safe to say, I’m not a fan of the sharks! However, hopefully someone out there will find this post useful and decide if they are cool enough to collect. Link to buy on eBay
How would your shark rankings look? Do you disagree with mine? I’d love to know your thoughts on them in the comments below!