In historical battles (and movies), battle standards or banners were used to inspire or rally the troops, while disheartening the enemy.
In Pirate101, Battle Standards are something that you place onto a combat area that either helps you and your allies or makes things more difficult for the enemy.
Each player in combat can plant their own battle standard, and allies (that qualify) will all benefit from it.
Equipping a Battle Standard
To use a Battle Standard, you have to equip it before combat starts. The Battle Standard is a totem inventory item, so it must be equipped in your totem slot. While equipped, it grants you a new Power. You can see that power by going to the My Powers page.
Here, the Power granted by the equipped Imperator’s Standard is shown. Like any Power, this Power can be re-positioned, placing it at the head of the list so that it shows up at the start of combat.
Different standards provide different benefits. In the case of the Imperator’s Standard (see above), using the power to plant the standard will generate Fair Weather – adding 50% Accuracy to all team members that are birds. That includes allies and pets that are in combat. It won’t affect your pirate, since they are not a bird.
The [+] is an additional bonus IF you plant the banner on the enemy’s side of the battleboard. If you do that, the standard not only generates Fair Weather but also generates Foul Winds – adding 50% Physical Damage to all bird physical attacks.
These will apply to any Bird fighter on your side as long as they are within range of the battle standard’s influence. The influence range is indicated by the green grid on the card – the ‘2’ indicates that the bird must be within 2 squares of the Battle Standard to get these benefits.
Using the Battle Standard in Combat
When combat starts, the Battle Standard’s Power icon may show up in the tray at the bottom of the screen, just like your other powers, depending on where it is on the My Powers list.
To use the Power, you first click on the Power icon. The squares that you can plant the standard on will turn light blue (see image below). Click on any of them to tell your pirate to plant the standard there.
Once the Planning phase is over and the action starts, your pirate will plant the Battle Standard. This uses up their turn, for that round.
Once the Battle Standard is planted, all combatant affected by the standard will have a large white circle around them, like Wing Chun in the image below.
If you want to see what buffs a particular combatant is getting by the battle standard, put your cursor over them to see their info pop-up.
Once a standard is planted on the battleboard, it cannot be moved.
And there goes the other shoe drop (PvP only)
In addition to bonuses when used, Battle Standards usually also have a penalty if the standard gets destroyed during PvP. This is in addition to losing whatever benefits the standard gave combatants and usually affects the same type of combatants. The penalty is different for each battle standard. The penalty isn’t described anywhere, but it should be pretty noticeable once the standard is destroyed and you look for it.
Note that your team cannot destroy the standard, but PvP enemies certainly can (normal PvE enemies will ignore the standard).