While he does have two evolution option, it does not really matter which you chose, as they both converge on the final form, however closing Corona Zero Three Thousand Worlds is recommended, as you'll need only about a third of EXP to finish it. Rating is available when the video has been rented.
Hint: you can read our thoughts about each unit by clicking through to its character page and checking the notes section. The first will give you Monkey D. Buffy Straw Hat-Heart Pirate Alliance (like with all mails, delete them after using to prevent later clutter).
The third will be a regular daily 'free gem' email related to whatever the current game event is. The fourth will give you 10 Straw Hats, more on that in the next paragraphs If you are lucky, you may get more mails with more rewards tied to current in-game happenings.
So, the coolest mail you get is the 10 random Straw Hats (“Start your new adventure! In regard to the gold posters you can get, they are divided into two groups: evolved story mode Straw Hats (in the long run, easy to farm and so trash pulls) and proper gold posters available only for gems.
There is no 'easy' way to tell them apart in-game (no, 4-stars vs 5-stars simply refers to their involved or evolved state, no help here). You can try to tell what other units you got based on their pictures and comparing them to our character list or other websites.
But, let me repeat: golds are easy enough to come by in the long run, reroll for red posters. As of late 2019, the best legend to get is QC G4 v2 as he can clear a lot of the top tier content.
Several new good legends have been released since (Brook, INAMI), but I am not sure if they have been added to the pull (please comment if they had). In particular, Buffy/Law dual is top tier replacing G4 v2 as the top Straw Hat pick but again I am not sure if he is in this free pull. All others are decent (check their individual pages for detailed notes) except... the first Straw Hat legend, STR Log Buffy, is quite under powered now, so we do not advise retaining rerolls with him (think of him as closer to a gold-level power than a proper red).
And in case you were wondering, there is a single Straw Hat legend confirmed not available in this (Buffy & Ace). Day 2, Trafalgar Law Straw Hat-Heart Pirate Alliance, and 5 gems.
Hint: even if you are busy, try to log in and do 3 easy quests to get your 2-gem daily income. You will get more gems from daily easy quests at the Extra Isle (click the arrow in the top right corner in adventure mode).
Usually you can get 1 easy gem per day from some training/farming quest (gold-framed, low stamina 1-day events at Extra Island, dropping evolves, boosters, belt, or whatever), through they are not available every day, it varies from week to week. Lowest-difficulty Coliseum should be claimable without too much effort with your starting units after you power them up with some turtles/pigs to get them to 50+ levels.
Keep in mind some other events at the Extra Isle will be much more challenging, and some have difficulty so high you won't be able to clear them without investing several months into leveling up units, recruiting new ones, and understanding the game mechanics. Anyway, assuming you are not whaling and spending $$ your goal for the next 3 days should be to get enough gems to do at least one multi.
He will work for a short while for your STR teams, but even when fully evolved (to this form) he will become too weak to help you clear most of mid-to-late game content. Don't forget to get Port gas D. Ace Whiteboard's Son from the rookie support extra island section, he can be helpful for early game content too and is an alternative captain for your STR teams.
The final evolved version (even before super evolution) of the Zero you get after clearing Shells Town is stronger than your starting Buffy and will likely be one of your primary captains for much of the mid-game content, through he can only lead EX teams. Explain is much better than the starting Buffy who only reaches his level or power upon his final super-evolution.
Note 2: with the release of Died The Strongest Creature Alive on Global in March 2020 you can cheese your way through all of early and mid-game content, and decent chunk of late-content, with a friend Died and whatever random units you stick together on the team. But you won't learn how to make teams for the hard content and whether such cheesing will be fun... shrug.
You may be limited from being able to put too many of your RR unit(s) in your team due to being “overcast”. As of early 2019 if not earlier, new accounts start with cost limit of 152, which should be enough to put at least several RR's and even some legends in your team.
While the first battles are simple enough that your starting units will work with no sweat, as you continue with the game, the difficulty will increase and soon you will realize that you need to adjust your team for speed and survival. As you clear more and more story and Extra Island content, and figure out who the boss for each stage is (or check the guide like East Blue), and keeping color strengths and weaknesses in mind, you'll see that some teams work better for some stages then others (ex.
With the new 10 Straw Hat pulls and guaranteed legend on Day 3, not to mention anything you may get from Beginner Hugo or spending $$, you should have access to more decent starting captains than we can feasibly cover here. Check our pages for RR units you pulled to see what we think of them and click-through to Hakama Network site to see teams captained by them used to clear various content.
The Explain you got on 2nd day allows you to make an early rainbow (=any colors) team which will clear everything in its path and give you a big EXP boost, stick to that as much as you can. Your STR team will be captained by your starting Buffy until you get a better captain (you're starting Buffy, even if evolved to the max, is at best an average unit, he has decent stats, but mediocre captain's ability and weak special, compared to farmable Along Sun Pirates, Blackbeard, or a Rare Recruit unit like Bartholomew Kama Warlord of the Sea).
Not that Ace is a great unit, but it is also a relatively easy gem to get early on. Unless you pulled an even better RR captain, your EX team will be led for a while by Zero (in his final form of Corona Zero Ahura Ichibugin whose good stats and captain's ability make him a viable top-tier unit) if you feel like running an HP-heavy team.
Keep in mind he is rather weak until you finish his evolve chain (well, that's true for pretty much any unit). For QC team, after you clear a few more story islands, the game will give you Kanji Viable Jamie Flambé, sadly he is a niche support character (sub) and you'll need a better QC captain quickly.
Anyway, this means that you cannot rely on the original Straw Hats that the game will give you to do much (to recapitulate: Explain is best, evolved Zero still makes a decent EX captain, Buffy is usable but under powered these days, Training Grounds Ace can be fun to play with but also under powered in the long run, Us opp is a great support unit as GPU, while Kanji and Name have very niche support usability). Oh yes, you'll eventually get a Chopper, Frank, Robin, and Brook but by that point they'll be pretty useless too.
However, when you get around to actually Super Evolving them, you'll find a revitalized, reliable characters (usable as captains and subs) in 5+ Buffy, 5+ Zero, 5+ Kanji, 5+ Brook, 5+ Robin and 5+ Chopper. When you do get the skulls needed for Super Evolve though, you're likely to have better RR captains, but this is a good note that you should never throw away characters that appear weak now as they may be powered up later on.
You'll get Merry Go after clearing Syrup Village so, uh, on your first day of playing? Long story short, most other early game ships don't provide 1.5x boost and this is why they suck.
You'll upgrade Merry Go to A Thousand Sunny after clearing Tower of Law ~ Gates of Justice in a little while; it's a good power up for all teams so clearing this story island should be one of your priority goals. The Thousand Sunny Coated Vessel you can get from Body Archipelago Redux is not an upgrade but an err, side-grade, and rarely needed, so don't worry about it.
First, Dreadnought Sabre from Missions: Karate is useful for speed farming evolves. Rocket man in addition to powering Powerhouse teams enables zombie teams, and FD boosts earned EXP meaning you level up your cost/stamina faster, but they cost Training Points, so unless you whale $$$ for dupe units to sell to Bazaar it may be months before you can get them.
And finally there is Ganesha which is great for Powerhouse and Cerebral, and is occasionally available for some gems. Anyway, for your team building, including the vast majority of useful captains, you'll have to rely on two pools of characters: the lottery of Rare Recruit, and farming of story missions and recurring Extra Isle events.
Since Rare Recruit is pretty much a gamble (so good luck and remember to pull only during Signs UNLESS you are really sure you know what you are doing), this guide can only offer some advice with regard to farm, i.e. will tell you which story mode characters are worth trying to get a poster drop. Classic early-to-mid F2P tank Zero EX team CaptainSubsFriendShip Requirements Merry Go MAX Other good subs: Bellamy the Hyena, Ghost Princess Persona, etc.
Explain fast level up team CaptainSubsFriendShip Requirements Content can be roughly divided into story islands (the ones you sail between on the main map) and stuff available on the Extra Isle. You may run into your first defeats around Along Park, with Twin Cape and Alabama being common stumbling blocks if you are haven't put much thought into team building.
Common newbie problems arise because bad team building (covered above) and low-level units (solved by doing more farming on missions you can clear). If you have difficulties we did not cover, or workable strategies that we did not consider, please make a comment in the relevant island page, or update the guide yourself.
Much content on this site is written by advanced players who simply forgot what early game difficulties and solutions they had. The good news is that the guides for that content are usually more developed because it is where the more advanced players spend most of their time.
Farming means repeatedly completing a battle hoping for the character poster to drop. First, you should only farm story mode characters during 2x Drop Rate days for that island (doubling whatever the chance is), or 0.5x stamina times.
And yes, you can get them even from even the lowest Stamina battles (but the odds of poster dropping however are lower for easy difficulties). This guide was written to focus on the early Story Mode characters you should try getting.
But as the power creep ramps up, story mode is really an abysmal place to recruit useful characters, as they are generally way under powered compared to not only RR's, but newer Extra Island farmable FN units. As a rule of thumb, as of 2018, no story mode characters are worth repeated farming for.
The odds are good you'll get the weak story characters from FP or some special events anyway. Since mid-2017 it became increasingly easy to get certain (usually, best) story units, and this is happening outside farming.
They have been added to FP recruit, and we had several events (Straw Hat's Journey and some Chopper man Missions) which were pretty much giving them away. This has led many players to conclude that regular farming is a waste of effort, because we are going to end up getting those story units eventually.
Also, since fall 2017 and the release of Chopper man Missions, you can get some story characters from them, and from December 2017, many East Blue story characters have significantly improved drop rates, with some being 100% guaranteed upon single clear. Note that you can also get this character from the recurring Avid's Romance Extra Isle event.
Shells Town : Forget Axe-Hand Morgan (only usable as a very early sub, hardly worth the effort), but his brat evolves to Cabin Boy Helmet, whose special makes him a niche but occasionally very useful sub unless you got a better (RR) DEF-to-zero unit. Captain Kurt is a QC slasher and a decent sub early on, through only for his stats.
He is however farmable in his extra isle event too, and is obsoleted by a bunch of units, including other F2P drops, so don't think much of him. Everyone is always desperate for Us opp sockets and GPU copies for skill ups, but the drop rate here is considered too low to be worth the trouble.
Don Grieg is a very niche and rather weak unit, and you can just wait and get him from the Crush Grieg's Assault event if you really want a poisoner early Along Park : while you need the cow for one of the missions, it will drop at a good rate from the Face The Deep-Sea Kraken event, so just wait for it. Much more interesting was the Enraged Along, who is usable as a captain (through worse than most Rare Recruits), but whose pretty good stats (one of the highest ATK values in the game) keep him in play as a usable sub for a long time.
Twin Cape brings us Lagoon and Princess Vivid, both usable in the old-style Zombie Team strategy. It belongs to another guide, but bottom line is both are ok to have (but there are much better zombie units these days so don't work too hard on them).
You can obtain Lagoon from the same Kraken event as the cow, while Vivid is also available from Whiskey Peak and from FP Recruit as Miss Wednesday. (And as of early 2019 there are even better zombie captains... but if you haven't pulled any and want to try the old school way, well, here you go).
Sadly, his rumored drop rate is terrible, and he is no longer as useful as he was back in the early days when delayers were very rare. Nanchang Rain base : Mr. 3 appears again, but more importantly, so does the Mr. 0 Baroque Works CEO, better known as Crocodile.
He was a great INT Slasher sub back in the early days, but it is doubtful you will use him now much. Alabama introduces Mr. 2 On Clay (a niche unit that combos well with farmable Gap the Fist), niche but usable Slasher and damage reducer Mr. 1, and a more useful EX booster Miss Double finger.
You really want Miss OF for your EX Zero team, and if you run Slashers, Mr. 1 will find his place there for a while at least. Jay : Bellamy complements Miss OF and your EX team.
In particular: DON'T use Rare Recruit except during Hugo Fest days Stamina Refills may be tempting, but the later you use it (the higher your pirate level (P-LV), the more benefit you get from them. Do it only if you have collected valuable posters (and except on Extra Isle this is unlikely to happen before you finish the boss anyway).
Do it when you are out of options and would have to throw away valuable characters or rare fodder (evolves or boosters). With regard to evolves, do not, under any circumstances, use anything that has a rainbow color, or any dragons or lobsters for powering up.
After you unlock the Extra Isle (by finishing Shells Town), it is a very good alternative, as the rewards there are better and relatively unique. Story Isle should almost never be attempted when there are no rewards (2x Drop, 2x Pirate EXP, 2x Belt, 0.5x Stamina).
Granted, some characters are very difficult to socket, and for those, using a RR is roughly equal to using a Forbidden Tome you would get from the Bazaar, but... think carefully. Most experienced players will trade dupes to the Bazaar instead of gambling on getting skill ups/sockets, which are increasingly easier to get with Tomes, Manuals and such.
Your first buy should be the Rocket man ship or the Flying Dutchman (but you may have to wait months for them to cycle back to the shop). Bazaar page explains in more detail what's worth buying and what's a trap.
Free turtles are better, manuals drop from various quests, and the only items you may really need is unique super-evolution materials for a very small set of characters (German units, legend Every, and few others). If it is a REV candy, keep it for Every / Legendary Marco / Boa / INTIvankov /and such.
No need to play if you are busy, just log in to the game screen, open and delete your mail. (Do not let your mail pile up as after you reach the max of 300 you'll stop getting daily and special rewards.
Only players who played within 8 hours or so will appear on your friend captain list to choose from as an addition to your team. DO understand Guerrilla Turtles Times and try to catch them as much as possible on Daily:Monday and Friday quests.
DO switch your ships on all 8 crews from Dinghy to Merry Go and use your cola to max it ASAP. DO understand the STR EX QC INT PAY color dependencies and that different missions and events may require drastically different teams.
DO Store your cotton candy in level 1 trash characters to save box space and belt. It is a bit counterintuitive, but some of them give a lot of EXP, and you may waste it (as in, by getting too much stamina that you cannot store).
C's Mission page has some detailed tables/numbers related to the EXP gain, check it out. DO Likewise, play the monthly Vicuna Clash, it also has its own separate stamina bar (like thingy...).
You'll want to get 5 good units of each type (EX, STR, QC, INT, and PAY. The reason is that you'll want to finish your attacks with the characters that are strong against that boss.
Skip all raids (clashes), don't gem just to win you impatient little gamer. Getting one copy of a raid unit is not going to be useful anyway, you need few dozens to improve their special.
You'll want to focus on Extra Island most of the time as you will start to collect manuals and character copies for pocketing. It will still be awhile before you can do it in high volume, since you need to be able to clear 30 stamina isles repeatedly for that.
Manuals give you a chance to lower the number of turns you must wait before using a special. This might seem insignificant, but as this game gets harder, you'll find stalling can be a challenge, and you MUST lower cool-down on units.
This doubles the chances of lowering a cool-down when using a manual or character with matching special. Without these characters you can really cause the game to bottleneck and prevent progress and evolution of your units.
Do keep in mind that Sea Ponies and Robber Penguins and Hermit Crabs are Pig (Port) evolved fodder, so actually the most useless evolves are Pirate Penguins and Armored Crabs. You'll only get a one character advance notice of who is targeted next, and this can be not enough time to switch attack to a different enemy.
Learn your unit cooldowns, specials, and where to use GPU to maximize the stall time. Remember that units with high defense can easily die to combo hits from high-combo characters.
Specials that work together often form “Burst Teams”, teams that after releasing numerous specials on the final turn can take down the boss by doing several times as much damage as on a regular turn. Quixote Do flamingo Warlord of the Sea), class or color burst (ex.