Home Editorial Balance Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag multiplayer crafting guide

Welcome to Part 17 in WiNGSPANTT’s Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag multiplayer strategy guide!

Short introduction about ability balance and skill distr Crafting makes every one of your abilities in Assassin’s Creed 4 multiplayer better. You can shorten cooldowns to give you more opportunities to humiliate your foes, lengthen durations to get more for your money, or change behaviors for super-duper sneakiness. It’s all up to you.

Well, it’s not really up to you, because you’re here reading a crafting guide that’s going to tell you the best overall options for every ability in the game. This way you’ll be ready to make the most of your crafting decisions as you first unlock the capacity during your Prestige 1 experience gains. Follow the advice here and you’ll have a major edge over the competition.

Black Flag Crafting basics

If you’re thrifty throughout your first 55 levels (buying only “good” abilities and perks), you will have plenty of Abstergo credit (AC) to craft every ability as you unlock it during Prestige 1. Short on cash? I recommend playing Wolfpack Solo with your Daily Bonus active. Two rounds will net you about 1500 AC, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Crafting your abilities is simple. Choose the skill you’d like to optimize, then allocate 2 points to the attribute(s) of your choice. You have exactly 2 points to distribute, so that typically means either maxing out a single attribute, or spreading them between two equally important factors. You’ll find recommendations for best crafting choices below, but generally I recommend you focus on making your abilities more powerful (instead of more frequent or more “tricky”).

Every time you craft, you also have a chance of getting one bonus point to a random attribute. So, for instance, you might craft your Morph with 1 point in radius and 1 point in cooldown, but the game could assign you a third free point in cooldown, effectively giving you a shorter cooldown for free. As you can imagine, the ideal craft for every ability includes your 2 point allocation and a bonus point in a useful stat. Crafting suggestions below include allocations with and without the bonus point, though any bonus is better than no bonus.

This random system was obviously added by Ubisoft as a credit sink in the game, encouraging players to burn their AC on crafting luck. You should never count on this bonus point helping you out, but it’s a nice-to-have. When you reach the upper levels and have basically endless Abstergo credits, feel free to reroll your crafts until you land a bonus point that’s useful on each one.

But before you throw hard-earned cash at the screen, remember that Abstergo+ membership cuts crafting costs in half. Therefore, if you’re gonna craft at least 7 times, you should buy the least expensive Abstergo+ subscription first. You’ll save a few credits while also getting more experience and other perks.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about crafting. Without further ado, here are my recommendations.

Ability crafting recommendations

Disguise

  • Normal craft: +2 duration or +1 duration +1 cooldown
  • Bonus craft: +2 duration +1 cooldown

Disguise works best when nobody sees your activate or deactivate it. And ensuring that happens is easiest when you have plenty of time to hide, switch it on, then move into position. Turning down your exposure might work against noobs, but good players will still spot your wardrobe change. If 20 seconds seems like overkill, split your points with cooldown. Also note that your cooldown doesn’t begin until your Disguise ends, so extending duration can, in many cases, raise your cooldown.

Money Bomb

  • Normal craft: +2 cooldown
  • Bonus craft: +2 cooldown +1 anything

Money Bomb is so bad it doesn’t really matter how you craft it. Nothing you can do to this ability can make it good. That said, I’d recommend throwing both points into cooldown. The skill is absolute trash, so why not have it available as frequently as possible? You’ll have more chances to throw your bling on the ground, possibly baffling your opponents long enough to make an escape. But not really because Money Bomb sucks.

Time Phase

  • Normal craft: +1 duration +1 range
  • Bonus craft: +1 duration +2 range

In FFA modes, Time Phase needs to slow your killers long enough to allow your exit. In team modes, it needs to hamper as many opponents as possible for as long as possible. Splitting your craft 50/50 between duration and radius will help you achieve either goal. Rushing pursuers will be trapped sooner and longer, and targets will take an eternity to escape a larger bubble. A good bonus craft will expand the radius more, giving you 6 seconds of gigantic, time-shifting fun.

Disruption

  • Normal craft: +1 disturbance, +1 duration
  • Bonus craft: +1 disturbance +2 duration

The great Rainin Stormwake described +2 strength Disruption as “it looks like your TV is breaking,” which is not really necessary to hamper most foes. +1 Disruption strength is more than enough to decrease your victims odds of success. Meanwhile, a single point in duration boosts the ability’s magical migraine time by 50%! Disruption has a super-short cooldown, so you won’t typically need any points there. Ending up with a medium-strength 10 second bonus is pretty hilarious.

Decoy

  • Normal craft: +1 duration +1 score bonus
  • Bonus craft: +1 duration +2 score bonus

Most Decoys won’t fool anyone in the first second or two of activation, so one point in duration (10 seconds total) will often give you the time you need to prey on their doubt. From there, extra score is gravy. A duration/score split will yield +200 points on Decoy kills, and a lucky craft will land you with a +300 point Decoy that lasts double the default amount. Don’t worry about the already low cooldown.

Morph

  • Normal craft: +2 duplicates
  • Bonus craft: +2 duplicates +1 cooldown

Morph works best when you convert the most possible personas into your lookalikes, which makes this one a no-brainer. Hell, range could actually hurt you by converting characters too far away to actually distract your pursuers. As such, just throw your crafting at duplicates and cross your fingers for a cooldown bonus point.

Firecrackers

  • Normal craft: +2 range
  • Bonus craft: +2 range +1 anything

There are very few situations where 4 seconds isn’t enough time to take advantage of Firecrackers, but there are plenty of situations where your enemies are standing just outside of its effect as it goes off. As such, boosting your Firecracker’s range by 50% can catch lots of players off guard, possibly saving your life. A bonus point in either duration or cooldown is more than welcome.

Throwing Knives

  • Normal craft: +2 duration or +2 cooldown
  • Bonus craft: +2 duration +1 cooldown or +2 cooldown +1 duration

Throwing Knives got a huge cooldown nerf compared to its previous Assassin’s Creed incarnations, so I wouldn’t fault you if you wanted to cut that clock down a few notches. That said, extra crippling duration gives you more time to get into position above your target, run away from your killer, or stun the person brazen enough to charge you. Target speed as an attribute is worthless because any strength Throwing Knives will prevent high profile movement, which accounts for most of any player’s speed.

Tripwire Bomb

  • Normal craft: +2 activation time
  • Bonus craft: +2 activation time +1 range

When your assassin is rounding a corner and bloodthirsty, every second counts. That’s why I recommend putting all you’ve got into activation time crafting. You’ll end up with a (still nontrivial) 3 second startup period before your bomb is ready. Range is a nice-to-have (especially for the bonus craft), but not strictly necessary. Cooldown is usually not needed, since Tripwire Bomb’s cooldown progresses even while your initial trap lies in wait.

Bodyguard

  • Normal craft: +1 duration +1 range
  • Bonus craft: +2 duration +1 range

There is no worse feeling in the world than activating your Bodyguard at exactly the right time, knowing exactly where your opponent is, and having the NPC fizzle out before reaching and stunning your killer. Sometimes your would-be murderer is too far away… other times she’s coy enough to wait out your hired help. Throwing 1 point into duration and range will ameliorate both situations, letting you get more consistent stuns. Don’t stress the 68-second cooldown.

Booby Trap

  • Normal craft: +2 visibility range
  • Bonus craft: +2 visibility range +1 activation time

Booby Trap is a pretty weak and narrow ability that does one thing and doesn’t even do it that well. For this reason it’s important that it works as well as possible when you actually have to use it. Activation time is always gonna be too long (in the heat of a chase) or inconsequential (when setting up traps). Crafting for visible range, on the other hand, will make it harder for opponents to spot and react to Booby Trap before it’s too late.

Sabotage

  • Normal craft: +1 duration +1 counteract
  • Bonus craft: +2 duration +1 counteract

Sabotage shares the fate of Bodyguard: it will often be thwarted, but for reasons you can’t easily predict. That’s why I recommend a crafting split on duration/counteract. You’ll have a larger window to seal your target’s fate and a longer shutdown period to take advantage of. Duration is slightly more valuable than counteract, but only by a narrow margin.

Glimmer

  • Normal craft: +2 duration
  • Bonus craft: +2 duration +1 cooldown

All the reasoning here is exactly the same as Disguise because these abilities have such similar uses. Don’t get caught Glimmering or un-Glimmering, and give yourself more time to set up a good kill or stun.

Wipe

  • Normal craft: +2 range
  • Bonus craft: +2 range +1 cooldown

Similarly to Firecrackers, it’s more important to ensure your target is hit than to worry about how long he’s disabled. 5 seconds is plenty of duration to take advantage of, but a greater range can allow you to use Wipe more recklessly from farther away. This is great for supporting teammates or catching more opponents off-guard at once. Cooldown is a nice bonus to pick up.

Animus Shield

  • Normal craft: +2 cooldown (FFA) or +1 duration +1 charges (team)
  • Bonus craft: +2 cooldown +1 duration (FFA) or +1 duration +1 charges +1 cooldown (team)

Animus Shield is a tough ability to tackle because its crafting depends greatly on the type of game mode you’re going to play. In free-for-all matches, it’s more important to get single-uses of Animus Shield up more often so you can block stray Smoke Bombs and Pistols. In team modes, the capacity to protect yourself longer and against more threats at once has greater sway. Stick with cooldown for FFA, but take your clan’s suggestions when it comes to team-based crafting.

Pistol

  • Normal craft: +2 aiming time
  • Bonus craft: +2 aiming time +1 cooldown

Let’s get this out of the way: accuracy is a waste of crafting points. Your shots get more accurate the longer you aim, so cutting your aiming time automatically increases your accuracy (while also making the ability function better). There is a big difference between 2-second and 1-second Pistol aiming time, especially for scoring Execution bonuses. Cooldown is, as always, a pleasant surprise for your random mod point.

Teleport

  • Normal craft: +2 activation time
  • Bonus craft: +2 activation time +1 anything

Remember how Tripwire Bomb was a do-or-die kind of ability? So is Teleport. You’re 100% vulnerable while Scotty beams you up, so the sooner your atoms get rearranged, the better. Once you escape you’re almost always completely safe, so range is rarely an issue. That said, it sure doesn’t hurt if your free point falls to either range or cooldown.

Poison

  • Normal craft: +2 score bonus
  • Bonus craft: +2 score bonus +1 anything

A long time ago, someone did the math on Poison and figured out that a +300 score bonus yields more points in a 10-minute match than landing more 200- or 250-point kills. I didn’t originally agree, but the math doesn’t lie. Besides, you might as well make every Poison count for as much as possible… they’re not always easy to set up. A shorter bonus delay will nix interceptions, but free cooldown reduction will increase your score potential. Either is cool.

Smoke Bomb

  • Normal craft: +2 range or +2 cooldown
  • Bonus craft: +2 range +1 cooldown or +1 range +2 cooldown

Now that Smoke Bomb can’t be used easily on reaction or for offensive uses, you’ve got two options for how to craft it. Doubling down on (the now insanely high) cooldown gives your more chances to cause your enemies to cough up a lung during the match. But boosting range could catch pros off-guard if they underestimate your Smoke Bomb’s reach. Either way, I advise against duration crafting since the gains are small and the length of smoke is rarely relevant now.

Poison Dart

  • Normal craft: +1 delay +1 range
  • Bonus craft: +2 delay +1 range

Without crafting, Poison Dart kind of sucks. It takes forever to aim at a stupidly short range, it takes forever to kill your target (they will stun you 80% of the time), and it’s just kind of lackluster. But with a little more range and a little less stalker standby, it becomes a much better option for assassination. +2 range is usually overkill, but +2 delay makes death almost instant (thought not really needed to succeed).

Looking for more tips? Head back to the main Assassin’s Creed multiplayer strategy guide index.


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10 replies to this post
  1. Great guide!

    I think it should go without saying, but I’ve worked with plenty of adults that don’t understand probability, so this may be helpful to some readers. If you’re going to craft for bonuses, always use your point assignments to fill up one of the attributes rather than to split those points between two. This increases your chances of getting the bonus point in the attribute you want from 1/3 to 1/2.

    For example, let’s say I want to craft Decoy (my favorite ability, natch) in the way you describe. If I put 2 points in Score, when I get a bonus point it can only go into Duration or Cooldown, so I have a 50% chance of getting the Duration bonus I want. If instead I put a point in Score and a point in Duration, then my bonus could land in any of the three attributes since each one still has an open slot for a probability of 1/3.

  2. I think +2 points to visibility range is the best choice for booby trap. You want it to stay invisible for as long as possible. The 8 second decrease in cool down is a waste of points imho.
    Just check the difference in visibility in gamelab so you don’t have to waste abstergo credits on re-crafting. You will see the difference in visibility is huge.

  3. I think you’ve misunderstood the visibility range of Boobytrap, it’s not what you can see but what your opponents can BT, like tripwire bomb, is fairly easy to spot once you get up close. Saying that, in events like the current one, most players aren’t paying enough attention to notice the deadly boombox or the shivers in the wood as you get close to the trap.

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