Stealing Skills in the Dome
So, the first thing you need to do is buy a Feepit Mask, or make one for yourself, and make sure you have a few good weapons on hand. Those Meepits play seriously.
Wait, this isn't a guide on how to avoid the Meepits. Anyway, while avoiding the Meepits is important, I suppose we can do that later when I'm in a secure location.
So, anyway, if you're more than dabbling in the Battledome, you should know about stealing. While stealing is usually condemned elsewhere, it's considered to be perfectly alright in the Battledome. As a matter of fact, hitting people is generally condemned, but that's alright too.
Now, to give a basic overview, stealing is taking the item in your opponent's first slot. If you want to know what your first slot is, go to the page where it shows your pet's weapons, and you can unequip them. The weapon in the topmost row, to the left, will be the first slot.
Now, you can steal this weapon in the Battledome, and you can use it during a fight. A common question is whether or not you get to keep the item. You get to keep it for the duration of the fight, but then it goes back to the opponent.
That, is a good thing when you think about it; otherwise, Thyora's Tears would be sold for 5 neopoints each.
So, that's a general overview of stealing.
The Turn System
One of the most complicated parts of the Battledome is the turn system, or clicking order. It is a bit complicated, so we'll go through it step-by-step.
You'll notice, in the Battledome, on the screen where it shows all of your attacks, that there is no mixing up of actions. That is to say, first of all, the weapons one player uses are shown, and that of the second player are shown later. In one player, your weapons will always be shown first.
Have you wondered why a weapon is shown first, or an action comes first? It's due to something called clicking order.
To better understand this, remember the golden rule: in the Battledome, whatever is selected first, will go last.
When you click the Go! button after selecting weapons, the turn order is decided. In one player, the opponents don't have to press a button, and so will be considered to have clicked first regardless.
Whoever clicks first, his/her weapons will be shown last, after the person who clicked Go! second. This affects many things like reflection, but I won't go to in-depth with that here.
Now, consider a situation in which you have a single-use weapon in your first slot, for example a H4000 helmet. Now, say your opponent uses a stealing item, the same turn that you used it.
Now, two scenarios will occur. If you clicked Go! second, your turn will come first. You will use the H4000 Helmet first, and freeze your opponent. However, it has been used up. So, when your opponent tries to steal it, they won't get anything! Lucky you!
However, if you clicked Go! first, you will go second. So, your opponent will steal the Helmet first. Now, logically, you would think that you wouldn't be able to use your weapon. But that is not the case. Actually, you will be able to use that weapon, but it will go to your opponent. So, your opponent will still be frozen, though.
The golden rule can be extended to weapons and reflecting as well (but that's a totally different story.) It might seem complicated, and you may have to reread it a few times, but if you try it it will become simpler.
So, it can be summed up:
1. In One player, you will always be able to steal your opponent's weapons, even if it is single use and will disappear. You will still get it, though your opponent will be able to use that weapon.
2. In two player, it will all depend on who clicks first. If you want to steal, it's better to click Go! second.
Note: If you steal a one-use item, and then you use it, it still goes back to your opponent. This can be used to advantage while testing weapons that are single use.
An example is the Kacheek Flour. It turns a Neopet into a Kacheek, but then breaks, resulting in a loss of neopoints. But you can equip it, steal it, and then use it, and the Kacheek Flour remains intact.
This can be extended to all single-use weapons, or weapons that are fragile, like the Pocket Lab Ray.
Now, let's get on to the types of stealing weapons that exist. There are many of them, but there are mainly three you should be concerned with. I also consider them the three categories.
1. Purple Sticky Hand
This is the most common stealing weapon. 90% of weapons are like it.
The Purple Sticky Hand was an Advent Calendar prize of Y5. It is currently priced around 16,000 neopoints.
This Hand (Yes, there are others) is the best for the price range. While its not the bargain it used to be, it is still one of the most widely-used weapons out there.
The Purple Sticky Hand has an approximate steal chance of 50%. It is the best for its price range, and effective at that. Even some high-end battlers still use this weapon.
The thing about this Hand and most other weapons like it is that it goes to your opponent, or when you use it, your opponent will gain the Purple Sticky Hand.
So, if your opponent is foolish enough to keep a Honey Potion in their first slot, you can steal it, but the hand will then go to your opponent. Remember, they can use it against you as well.
Don't worry if you only do one-player, the opponents will never be able to use it, so no worries there. It's in two-player that you'll have to be careful.
The only upgrade is the Rainbow Sticky Hand, but that will only give you a minor chance increase for a lot of neopoints, making this the most worthwhile.
2. Heavy Robe of Thievery
Unlike the Purple Sticky Hand, this is unique. There is no weapon that can match this.
Sold at the price just below unbuyable price, this has no rival. It far outclasses the Purple Sticky Hand in nearly every regard.
For one thing, it has a 100% steal rate, unlike the Hand; it will never miss. Not only that, it doesn't go to your opponent after stealing. It just goes *poof* for the battle. To top it all, it also blocks two light icons. Okay, that's just two icons, but it is better than nothing, right?
But, there is a catch to using it. You have to have your intelligence up to 68 and agility up to 201.
Yikes! That's a lot. The intelligence part is extremely easy; training agility is difficult for newer battlers.
That's why people general advise to train up speed to 201, so that you can use this weapon. That's a tall order, though it's really up to you whether or not you want to train to that much. Just remember, though, there is no other use of speed, so if you're short on neopoints, you may want to not train speed at all.
3. Tornado Ring
Ah, the Tornado Ring. Most of us mortals will never even see this in battle, it is that expensive, over 100 million neopoints, and much more than that.
What does it do? It has a minor attack of 3-4 icons, heals 4 hit points every turn, and blocks off ALL air icons.
Not only that, it has a tiny chance of doing something known as multi-steal. What's that? Other weapons can be used once, and you can only equip one stealing weapon. This, on the other hand, can keep stealing.
The stealing percentage is rather low, around 5% I believe, but it can keep doing it! Your opponent can't do anything if they don't have any weapons, so in a long-drawn battle it is worth it.
By the way, I forgot to mention that stealing is disabled in wars. You can equip the items, but they won't show up. There are two plausible reasons:
1. TNT is evil. But we all know they work with the Meepits, so that's not much of a point.
2. Stealing is disable solely because of this weapon. You see, with the Tornado Ring, you can steal an opponent's entire set. That's why it is disabled, otherwise it is possible for a player to steal a Boss' entire set, and then slowly chip at their life points.
If you have a Tornado Ring, you probably don't need my advice in using it. The rest of us can just drool over it.
Now, let's go over whether or not you should use stealing weapons.
One-Player: Definitely! It really depends on who the opponent is, for example stealing is very effective against Meuka, the Black Pteri, the Turmaculus, and the Giant Hungry Malevolent Chomby.
However, do check what the opponent has in their first slot. Some of them, like the Meerca Henchmen, have trick items in their first slots, like apples, which you can't really use.
Two-Player: In two-player, stealing is a gamble, but you'll be surprised what you can get sometimes.
It's rather useless if you can't use a Heavy Robe of Thievery. A Purple Sticky hand has several disadvantages; it can miss, so you'll waste a turn and a slot. Not only that, your opponent gets it, so they can make a comeback.
Plus, people put junk items in their first slots to prevent stealing. The Purple Sticky Hand is not very effective.
Now we reach the last part of the article, which is how to counter stealing. First of all, if you only play one-player, then there's nothing to fear, as none of them have weapons that can steal.
However, it's in two player that you have to be cautious.
The first way to prevent it is the sure-fire way, by putting a useless item like Coltzan's Gem in the first slot. However, this takes up a slot, but it's the only really certain way.
The other way is a bit more tricky. It involves putting an item in your first slot that will be useful to you, but not for your opponent. For example, if you put a Bent Fork in your first slot, but don't have a weapon that's affected by it, then that is one way. Other things include using a species weapon.
Another way is by putting your freezer in the first slot. As long as you click Go! second, your opponent won't be able to steal anything. However, once the first turn is over, your opponent could just be waiting to use their stealing weapon later.
So, what some battlers do is to have their freezer in their first slot, and put Downsize! in the second slot, as Downsize! generally is not really that important. You can also put a bomb in the third slot as well.
The method you pick depends on you. Also, it depends on who you'll be fighting.
At lower levels, when you won't fight pets at the 200 boosts, you will not see the Heavy Robe of Thievery, and stealing is not that serious. Merely keeping your freezer in the first slot is more than okay.
However, above the 200 boost, stealing becomes serious with the Heavy Robe of Thievery. You might want to keep a junk weapon in the first slot as a precaution at that level.
So, in conclusion, stealing is a part of battling that can be interesting while implementing. As Hanso would say, "I'll make a thief out of you yet!"