[Top 5] Sea of Thieves Best Emissaries And Why They're Great

All Emissary flags in Sea of Thieves
The trading companies need you! Choose your flag and rep your colors!

Let’s face it, it takes quite a long time to get to the Pirate Legend status in Sea of Thieves. For those salt-less sailors among you who don’t know the struggle, in order to mark yourself a legendary pirate, you must reach level 50 in 3 out of 4 trading companies (Order of Souls, Gold Hoarders, Merchant Alliance or Reaper’s Bounty) And if you know anything about leveling up past 10 or so, you’ll know that this is a real grind for even the most talented looters and plunderers around! Thankfully, there is a better way to grind for reputation and coin: hoist up an emissary flag!

Once you reach level 15 in a trading company, the game now allows your crew to pledge loyalty and raise a company's flag in order to receive a higher reward. That’s right, that captain's chest or bounty skull you have aboard could have been worth a lot more sold under an emissary flag. Here’s how it works: Once bought and raised, you will receive higher grades of a flag for all the loot you pick up for the first time. Yes, sadly you cannot count loot you have already plundered and stored. But this does count for any loot, so should a skeleton chip spawn or a kraken attack, that loot and the enemies’ defeat will add up and help you level up your flag!

Each grade of flag gives higher rewards for loot and reputation, the numbers and percentages are the same across all companies and the chart goes as follows:

Emissary grade:                    Gold/Reputation Rewards

  • Grade 1:                 0 added bonus but does still count for commendations
  • Grade 2:                +33% gold and rep
  • Grade 3:                +67% gold and rep
  • Grade 4:                +100% gold and rep
  • Grade 5:                +150% gold and rep

With new rewards constantly added to season challenges, you can gain special items by leveling up your banner! Did I mention you can also turn in your emissary flag and sell for big profit? Be careful however! Enemy crews can steal and sell your flag as well, and a high level flag is quite a prize for taking! But which company-issued banner should you be flying if they all give out the same percentage of rewards? Well yes there are some perks to the colors you run up the mast! Here are the top 5 emissary flags to fly for your next adventure!

5. Athena’s Fortune

Already a legend of the seas? Struggling to level up your Athena flag? Check out this guide here:

Be warned, if you're not a pirate legend they won't give you the time of day!

Ok this one may come in as a surprise coming in last place, but hear me out on this real quick: What makes emissary flags so great is that they allow struggling pirates to get boosts they need in order to level up faster and get more rewards. It may come with a higher risk, but the rewards of a level 5 emissary flag cannot be overlooked as the best multiplier in the game. To sail as an emissary of the Athena’s Fortune however, you must already be a pirate legend. This means you have to level up 3 trading companies to level 50 before you can think about choosing this flag, quite a long way to go and not helpful at all to beginners.

Pirate Legends that do fly this flag may be surprised at the Athena quests awaiting them, as they are not much more than bulked up skull runs or chest burials most pirates are already used to (with more rewards of course) And certainly not an easy flag to level up, much harder than the rest of the flags on this list. Aside from Athena loot, you can use world events like forts, kraken/megalodon and skeleton ships/fleets; along with skeleton captains to level up your flag as well. Be sure to try your luck at a Fort of Fortune! As more than a large bounty of athena loot lies locked away in wait for ye brave souls!

 Now while it is not easy to level up,that is not to say this flag has no use. It’s an elite baner than many a proud pirate legend has flown in search for the most exclusive loot. But compared to the other 4 options this flag has the lowest rating. With the least accessibility, the least purpose and the highest risk the Athena is just not the flag you’ll usually see flown. The emissary flags are better used in service of the other trading companies, and speaking of those...

4. Gold Hoarders

For the more affluent of pirates, the Gold Hoarders is the flag of choice for sailors who like shiny things, check it out here:

All the greediest sailors flock here, including Eugene Krabs!

We’ve all been here: You just survived a brutal kraken attack and are feeling on top of the world as you lug your chests off the ship and towards the Gold Hoarder’s tent. And then the price for your barnacle covered chest is about 600 gold pieces short of what you were hoping for. Sadly, no, you can’t haggle with these greedy, sand-covered businessmen in tents (sorry Life of Brian fans) but what you can do is improve the chest’s value!

Raise up a Gold Hoarder’s emissary flag at the beginning of your adventure and cash in for more plunder! Adding up to a 2.5X bonus on top of your plundered loot is a big improvement, as that captain’s chest can go from 500 gold to a much better 1250 real fast. And with so many new cosmetics for your pirate and ship coming each week, who doesn’t need a little extra gold here and there?

Now as helpful as these rewards are, this company actually ranks last on the 3 basic trading companies list, but not for the reason you may think. While all companies can be leveled up by random world events, gold hoarder voyages can take the longest and yield the least amount of treasure over the course of a few hours compared to other companies. Besides, one misstep in a vault or one lost location when solving a riddle and your voyage might come to a frustrating early end. Want to go on voyages that are much more rewarding and fun to play? Oh boy have I got a trading company for you!

3. Order of Souls

Fond of slaying skeletons? This may be the flag for you:

Funny enough, they collect skulls not souls

It’s funny, with all the new enemies that have been added like ocean crawlers, phantoms, sirens and even Davy Jones to come across, you would think the Order of Souls would look for a second revenue stream other than skulls. Yet, there is just something about collecting skulls from freshly-slayed cursed captains that is so irresistible to us pirates. The Order of Souls has caught up with the times thankfully, as players can cash in skulls for more reputation and profit than ever before with the emissary flag system!

What gives the Order a slight edge over the Gold Hoarder’s flag is really all in the preparation of the voyage. For example, you might raise the Gold’s flag if you needed the extra reputation, or if you knew you were going to find a vault or a ple thora of chests. However there are just a few more reasons to raise the Soul’s flag, like Ashen Lords, Skeleton ships/fleets, islands full of cursed captains, skull forts and more. The chances you are going to come across some valuable skulls is almost too much to pass up! And the most important comparison for me being you get to fight your way to the loot with the Order, rather than solve riddles and dig up loot for the Gold Hoarders. For sure an advantage for more casual pirates who are more into the game for fun and swashbuckling action, rather than the grind of it all.

I would highly recommend the Order’s flag if there is an Ashen Lord in the server, as defeating the boss and it’s minions will add levels to your flag before you even pick up the loot! And then you get a bonus added to a skull worth 10,000 gold without any bonuses added already?? More than enough reward for taking the fight to Flameheart’s generals! 

But the Order does not beat out our last two emissary flags, number 2 being...

2. Merchant’s Alliance

Be sure not to sell all the rum lest ye face a mutinous crew! Tips on that here:

Sell to the merchant's for a great review in Forbes magazine

Coming in at number 2 on our list is every honest sailor's best friend: the Merchant’s Alliance. Over the years, pirates have been able to make a name for themselves selling items like sugars and powder, doing cargo runs or retrieving rare colored chickens, snakes and pigs. Even with mermaid and siren gems able to be sold anywhere, it is pretty necessary for even the most blood-thirsty pirates to occasionally make a few cargo runs, which can slow the swashbuckling down to a crawl. 

Thankfully, the Merchant’s Alliance offers not only leveled up rewards for loot under their emissary flag, but emissaries are also invited to use the new Trade Routes system, allowing them to buy and sell commodities between outposts! While prices and demand change weekly in the seas, players are able to gain rep and gold by buying a commodity from one outpost and selling it to an outpost that is in need of the commodity. Now, if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to capitalize on these routes the same time you are doing missions or simply traveling the seas for more reputation and more reward in far less time.

Check out a more in detailed description on trade routes and commodities here:

With the new trade routes, you can also gain more rewards trading under a higher flag level, which is what gives the Merchant’s flag an edge over the Gold Hoarders and the Soul’s flag. Merchant’s have certainly always been the hardest trading company to level up, as ancient bone dust is hard to come by, but with these new boosts, pirates can manipulate trade needs and hoard loot under a level 5 flag for maximum profit and an easier path to level 50!

1. Reaper’s Bones

A thirst for bloodshed is best spent sailing under the Reaper’s flag:

Sadly no, loot stolen from crewmates does not count

Moving down to our number one spot, we spy the dreaded Reaper’s Bones flag! With outpost stations located at the tables with the caged skeleton, crews pledged to this company can cash in their loot only at the Reaper’s Hideout for gold and reputation! New to the game and come across a crew flying this banner? Better save your jokes and alliance offers for the Ship of the Damned as there is rarely  a chance of peace when they come up on you;   Reaper’s have quite the reputation for PVP.

The Reaper’s Bones will pay handsomely for any loot you will sell to them, but they pay a little more if it’s loot you have stolen from another player. This means that this trading company not only promotes thievery, it actually rewards it with slightly higher margins! True to the pirate code, you may as well have the line “Take what you can, Give nothing back” written at the top of the hideout as they are a band of the most skilled and feared plunderers in all the seas. Chests, powder, skulls, other emissary flags, you name it they’ll take it! Pirates looking to abuse this system won’t find it so easy however, flying this flag does come at a risk as it marks you on the map table for other crews to see you (and potentially avoid/pursue you). 

Also, leveling up your Reaper’s flag to level 5 not only provides a huge bonus, but also will allow you to see all other emissaries on the map! That’s right, the feared crew hunting down the whole server can gain access to other ships' locations should they collect enough plunder! So it may be worth a look at the map to see who is out on the seas before deciding to raise up a trading company’s flag. These advantages and incentives to take on other pirates put the Reaper’s flag easily in the top spot. So brush up on your PVP skills and load up those cannons, that is if you think you too can become a menace on the seas and have other crews tremble as they spot your Reaper’s Bones flag!

Rest assured, you can always raise and lower any flag you have on your ship, so be sure to adapt to the right situation! Every server has different challenges and different crews, so be sure to hoist the right colors matey!

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Raised on the mean streets of PS2 Battlefront and early COD Modern Warfare lobbies, it's safe to say I've seen some sights.
Gamer Since: 2004
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Dead By Daylight
Top 3 Favorite Games:Left 4 Dead 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Star Wars: Battlefront

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