"Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag" Legendary Ships Guide
Ubisoft's latest Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is undoubtedly one of the best pirate simulators in recent years. Every pirate game needs challenging pirates and ships to fight and plunder. In Sid Meier's Pirates, we get to fight famous named pirates such as Henry Morgan and Blackbeard. In AC4, there are legendary ships that appear after conquering specific forts, and they can spell "death" even for the most seasoned seafarer. In this guide, tips and tactics will be discussed on how to beat and destroy the five legendary ships in the game.
Even though it might be possible to defeat the legendary ships without the Jackdaw being fully upgraded, it is strongly recommended to do so for improved survivability. It is important to note that unlike normal ships, the legendary ships cannot be boarded nor touched, they must be destroyed and sunk. It is therefore not possible in any legit way to add these prized ships to your fleet.
Before engaging any of the legendary ships, it is crucial and strongly advised to fully upgrade the Jackdaw. At the very least, the ship must have the Elite Hull upgrade for better armor and the ability to negate any damage taken from ramming enemy vessels. The upgrade plan can be found at the underwater San Ignacio Wreck (378, 769) in a chest.
Other than being able to flaunt your e-peen to your pirate friends after defeating all the legendary vessels, you will also receive 20,000R per victory, the Speed Ram attack, and become the Devil of the Caribbean. This is an achievement worth 40 points if you are on the Xbox 360/One, or a Silver trophy if you are on the PlayStation 3/4.
The HMS Prince, a Royal naval ship, is located southeast of Navassa fort, once conquered. It is generally considered as the easiest legendary ship to tackle and recommended as the first one to challenge. The HMS Prince is akin to a repainted Man-O-War, except with better maneuverability and equipped with a stronger offense and defense.
The enemy vessel will try to keep a distance away from the Jackdaw and bombard it with its mortars. Thus, the key is to keep as close as possible, using chain shot to slow it down and ramming it whenever possible. It is best to fight the HMS Prince at its rear position to prevent it from using its mortars. Circling around it, using broadside shots while dodging the mortar bombardments is viable as well.
HMS Fearless and Royal Sovereign
If you are able to face the HMS Fearless and Royal Sovereign one at a time, they would be the two easiest legendary ships to beat. However, the bad news is, they are a pair of inseparable twins that need to be tackled at the same time. Compared to the other legendary ships, these ships are much more aggressive and require better positioning due to their maneuverability. Both of these ships appear upon conquering the fort at Eleuthera.
The Jackdaw should always be on the move while keeping a fair distance away to prevent being sandwiched. Be warned, soaking two broadside barrages at once from a flanked attack is no joke and can spell instant death. Alternate your attacks between the two ships, slowing them down with chain shots and consistently bombard with mortars. Ram whenever the chance arises, and take extra caution to avoid their broadside attacks.
As mentioned, they behave like a pair of inseparable twins, so if one of them is destroyed, the other will go berserk and become far more aggressive. It will try to bull rush and ram you as a mark of revenge. Therefore, instead of focusing on a single ship, attack both ships simultaneously (alternating your attacks), so that when one goes down, the other would be nearing death as well. This would make your life and their miserable life (without the other half) much easier.
La Dama Negra
The La Dama Negra ("The Black Lady") is literally a tough nut to crack due to her impenetrable armor plating on the sides. This means the only way to attack the ship would be from her rear position. She appears southwest of the fort at Serranilla once you conquered it.
The La Dama Negra spams its twin mortars non-stop which are difficult to avoid as the bombardment area is not highlighted at all. The mortars can even hit you while you are attacking from the rear or even close up, so the Jackdaw has to be consistently on the move, adjusting sails and switching directions. It is advised to adapt to a kiting (hit-and-run) strategy and not be afraid to back out further away if necessary.
El Impoluto ("The Pristine") is, in my opinion, the toughest legendary ship to beat as due to its aggressiveness, high maneuverability (despite its size) and bull-like ramming that can sink the Jackdaw in just a few hits. The battle with this sea monstrosity will really put your naval combat skills to the test. The ship appears northwest once you conquer the fort at Dry Tortuga.
The El Impoluto is not just capable of ramming the Jackdaw to death but also does a ridiculous amount of damage via its broadside cannons, so stay out of the way. Its main strategy is to sail a distance away from your ship, turn and then come charging back at high speed for some serious ram damage. Use your chain shot and mortars as soon as it retreats for a charge to slow it down as it tries to dodge them.
When it charges at you, unleash your chain shots at it to interrupt its ram attack. When the ram attack is interrupted, you can counterattack with own ram and then heavy cannon fire. It is also very difficult to move to the rear of El Impoluto as it is much faster than you. However, if you manage to do so, unleash your barrage of chain shots and mortars.