The goal in any derby race is to cross the finish line before your opponents. Many people think that in order to do this, their pet must have hurries. Although hurries can be useful with their extra speed boosts, they aren’t necessarily essential to winning a race. In fact, the most important aspect to winning a Wizard101 derby race is you, the racer. With a little practice, research, and knowledge, a talented racer can potentially turn any ability into a deadly weapon.
To explore this idea, I’ll be starting a new post series called: Mind Over Ability. In it, I’ll be discussing different types of derby abilities and how to best use them to your advantage. You might be surprised just how useful frequently frowned upon derby abilities are!
First up are the remove jump/duck abilities which consist of:
- Stumble On
- Think Fast!
Why might these abilities be useful? Abilities that remove an opponent’s jump/duck are most crippling when they’re running low on morale. Morale is a pet’s “energy source” in derby, it makes them go faster. When a pet’s morale runs out, the pet quickly slows down and immediately loses their edge. The only way to gain back morale without using an ability is to successfully jump or duck hurdles. By taking that maneuver away, you can keep your opponent’s morale at bay and have them run into hurdles instead (which slows them down).
Whether your particular ability removes jump or duck, the basic strategy for using it remains the same.
1. Don’t always use it at the very beginning of the race. A lot of racers, especially new racers, love to spam every ability they have whenever it becomes available. But what if there are no hurdles at the beginning of the race? How would removing your opponent’s jump/duck significantly affect them? It wouldn’t, and that’s why you have to be smart when you play with these talents. It’s all about timing … which brings me to my next point.
2. Take note of what’s on the track and where. Where are the barriers located? What about the mud? And most importantly, where are the hurdles? Being aware of what’s on the track will help you play your jump/duck ability at the right time even when your opponent is not directly in your line of sight.
3. Use it when you know there are a bunch of hurdles near your opponent. You want to cripple your opponent as much as possible, so you ideally want to play your remove jump/duck ability when there are a lot of hurdles around them. After all, would you rather have your opponent miss 10 hurdles or 2? If you don’t see your opponent on the track in front of you, this can be tricky. But, that’s why it’s important to take note of what’s on the track. If you notice a slew of hurdles on a certain portion of the track, save your ability and use it when you see your opponent near that location on the mini-derby map in the right hand corner of your screen.
4. Remove jump/duck abilities can be extremely deadly when paired with a sap. Sap talents drain your opponent of their precious morale (and some abilities give that morale back to you instead). If you have a remove jump/duck ability and a sap of some sort, try to play them as close to each other as possible. A sudden drastic morale decrease caused by the sap will leave your opponent scrambling to find hurdles to recover. But if you take the ability to jump or duck the hurdles away, they could be left without a viable energy source for quite some time.
Using these 4 guidelines, any racer can use remove jump/duck abilities to their advantage. Stay tuned for future tips on different types of racing abilities!