TEK with No Howling?!? – The Trip to F170 of Gods’ Chessboard

Maze: Gods’ Chessboard

Purpose: DP questing, Boss Quest, and experimenting with a few mechanics I haven’t played with before. Specifically Ferocious.

Mainball: Cytus – TEK + Cytus combines to produce a buff of +5 Attack and +50 HP to all summoned creatures every 3rd floor or so, as long as you keep killing mobs. Generally, this is hampered quite a bit by summoning Howling, which is why we’re not summoning Howling. Also, Timestill Cytus is the answer to Bosses for a very long time. No pun intended. If that was even a pun. I can’t tell.

Linkball 1: Three-Eye King – The sweet thing about Skyeye is that, if your Attack is high enough, you can get most or all of your entire Energy spend back by killing mobs with it. So your only real limit on using the Cytus trick is Cytus’ energy, not TEK’s.

Linkball 2: Future Cat – For a few reasons. I wanted the Time Machine, I wanted the piles of spare Statues you get from each Dimension Door, I wanted the ‘enemies don’t block tiles’ from wearing the Future Technology set (so I could get Skyeye efficiency), and I wanted the Timestill-casting items.

 

Magic Title: Planar Prophet – The goal is to build up the largest possible pile of Statues so that I can max out the Book, customize my set of Powers, and then still have Statues left over to execute my late-game plan.

Melee Title: Light Paladin – Having a boatload of HP (and the long-range damage reduction) makes doing deep pretty easy if you have something else — say, a huge supply of high-damage pets — that is doing the killing.

Venture Title: Holy Rune Master – 9 more Timestills (made easy b/c Cytus poops Chain Lightning, the other necessary ingredient for crafting Timestills) (turned into 18 more Timestills because Cytus is Cytus) (plus a big pile of bonus low-level buff spells for survival in the deep floors)? Yes, please!

Dragon Title: Demonized Dragon – For the Spell Resistance Penetration, mostly, though the added +100% Chain Lightning damage was sweet, given Cytus poops Chain Lightnings.

Mechanical Title: Interstellar Defender – Because that’s as far as Cytus can get down that Title chain. 🙂

 

Artifact: Boots of Planar Prophet – More floors!

Potion: Evil God’s Nostrum – Saves a massive pile of Statues if you’re willing to wait until F80 or so to use it.

 

Other Important Items: I happened upon 3 parts of the Dragon Scale set by F70, so I stopped at the next Blast Furnace and threw Knight Statues into it until I got the fourth piece. Also got an Eternal Set just purely by accident while tossing Amber Statues to try to get more God’s Scrolls for the DP quest. Also, of course, the Ring of Inhibition is 100% necessary.

Statue Strategy: I saved all my statues until I had nearly 200 of each on F80-something. Then I drank my Evil God’s Nostrum and immediately maxxed out all my Book abilities, ending up with about 60 of each statue left over (not counting Amber, which I didn’t use at all except to try to get God’s Scrolls). I had set up my Book for spellcasting across my previous runs, and specifically obtained 2 different +Lightning% abilities, 2 different %-to-cast-Lightning-on-attacking abilities, a +Timestill% ability, and an Amber ability that gave me, at level 20, a phenomenal +40% to all spells.

I summoned Ferocious on F99, after filling a floor with other summoned statues. I hadn’t ever summoned Ferocious before, and I assumed that by “consume all other statues,” it would gain the stats of all those statues, which would be magnificent given that all of those statues had like +200 Atk and +2000 HP from all my CyTEKing. It didn’t. Don’t make my mistake! All you need to do is summon 1 of each statue and Ferocious will be as strong as it gets. I’m pretty sure. (Which is still pretty strong, BTW. It survived until F108, which isn’t bad at all.)

 

The Rundown:  I maxxed out Planar Prophet and every other Magic star first (using the Time Machine on F31 to start over), then three-starred Melee up to max Knight of Faith for the extra Power. I got one star each of Fortune Finder, Explorationist, and Rune Master before my first PoE from F59 to F7.

Then I took the other two star of Rune Master for the extra low-level spells, one star of Royal Rune Master, and Holy Rune Master and all three of its Power stars. Around this point, I got a Wish and obtained Dragon Titles. After backfilling Fortune Finder and taking one star each of the Mechanical Titles, i PoEd again from F59 to F4.

Then I filled in the Mechanical Titles and backfilled the Venture Titles before three-starring Heavy Armor Knight. At that point, I saved up enough spare EP to take Light Paladin when I was low on HP and left it alone. With everything else full, I started up the Dragon Titles and three-starred everything step by step to Demonized Dragon. Around F130, I used Light Paladin for HP, but maxxed out Demonized Dragon before maxxing out Light Paladin around F140.  After that, I just purchased every statue I found, ’cause duh.

 

Floor Strategy: Broken into four basic stages.

  • Pre-Future Technology Set: Tap tap tap, reveal an enemy, kill it, keep tapping.
  • W/ Future Tech, Until about F70: As above unless TEK is charged up. Then, instead, reveal everything and kill w/Skyeye. If necessary, cast Bless to empower Skyeye enough to finish everything off at once.  At that point, my Attack was low enough that I had to switch suits.
  • W/Dragon Scale Suit, Until about F110: Back to tap tap kill, but use Skyeye to hurt and get the mild Disrupting Ray effect on any Queens or other extra-big-HP mobs you come across so that you can kill them efficiently.
  • Back to Future Tech, past F110: Summon (floor – 100)/10 Statues, then tap around to reveal one mob, tap other stuff until the Statues kill it, reveal a new mob, etc. Save the Tower for floors with 3+ Ranged units and the Bishop for floors when you’re running low on HP.

 

Boss Strategy: With Cytus and a sh!tload of Timestills, you can basically go without ever getting attacked until you get so deep that the Boss’ “You can’t cast 5th level spells once the boss is below 20% MaxHP” feature kicks in — and even then, you can make it through another 20 or 30 floors with the power of Hex.  I died on F170 not because of lack of Timestill, but because of lack of Hex.

Even then, you can still survive a lot of hits by summoning a Tower and using Stoneskin, as they stack nicely. What finally actually got me, ironically, was the Boss’ randomized special effect, one of which eats a sh!tload of MP per turn. I haven’t died of a lack of MP since I was DP questing in Bloody Fortress, so that was different, which I choose to interpret as fun. 😀

 

All told, this run was damn fun, even if it was a little tedious by the end. I don’t like to go super-generic power team all that often, but God’s Chessboard’s statue-summoning mechanic makes this one so obvious that I had to run with it…and it was well worth it. 🙂

 

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Let’s Talk about God’s Chessboard

This is not your standard post of mine; it’s more of a breakdown of the main mechanic of God’s Chessboard and a breakdown of the DP quests. So, let’s jump right in.

Chess Statues

On F1 of the God’s Chessboard, you’ll find a corpse that, when searched, gives you two books, a very important ring (note: don’t plan runs that involve wearing some other ring on this Maze), and some Chess Statues. The Chess Statues are the currency of God’s Chessboard. You can use them in a variety of ways, including:

  • Using them from your inventory to summon a chess piece, which is a pet that sticks around for just the floor that it’s summoned on. Importantly, you can summon as many Chess Pieces as you want on any given floor (as long as there’s open room).
  • Putting them into a magic furnace that appears at irregular intervals, which will turn them into various pieces of equipment. Each chess piece has a specific set of equipment that it can summon from. One item in each black piece’s set is part of the Hikaru set, which you’ll need to summon at least once for some DP. Further, sacrificing an Amber piece will occasionally give you a God’s Scroll, which you will also need to obtain a few of for DP purposes.
  • Sacrificing them at the Evil God’s Statue to change the powers that your Book of choice will give you. That’s its own very complicated thing.

 

The Books 

Every floor of God’s Chessboard has an Evil Statue on it. The only thing you can do with the statue at first is choose which of the two Books to put in it. This is an interesting mechanic, because once you pick a Book, you can develop the powers that Book gives you — and those powers carry over from run to run.

You still have to unlock and level up the powers each time, but the set of powers that exist in the Book at the end of one run (see below) will be in that Book at the beginning of your next run. That means you can essentially build two different sets of powers over several runs and pick which one you want to use in each run.

The basic rules for the Books are as follows:

  • Every ability has a Max Level (3 through 20), a Current Level (1 to Max), a Tier (Bronze/Silver/Gold), and an associated Statue (Pawn/Knight/Rook/Bishop/Queen/Amber).
  • The abilities are leveled up by sacrificing Statues. Each black Statue gives 50 Exp, and each amber Statue gives 300 Exp. The associated Statue type gives double Exp.
  • New abilities are unlocked based on the total Exp you’ve spent to level up your existing abilities.
  • You get 3 abilities at Max Level 3, then 3 at Max Level 6, then 3 @ 9, 3 @ 12, 3 @ 15, and finally 5 abilities @ Max Level 20.
  • In addition to all of this, you can sacrifice 5 Black Statues or 3 Amber Statues to “Reset” an ability, which will in fact reset the ability’s Current Level to 1 — but it will also randomize the ability itself, erasing the old one.
  • You can only get an ability with an Amber Statue association by sacrificing Amber statues to reset, but you won’t always get an Amber-associated ability by sacrificing Amber statues. This is important for a couple of reasons:
    • First, the Hidden Gumball is only available if you find the Amber Ability “Treasure of the King” and level it up to level 20.
    • Second, obtaining a total of 5 Amber Abilities is a DP quest.
  • There are other DP quests available through the Books as well:
    • Spending 50 of each Black statue to level up abilities,
    • Spending 10 Amber statues to level up abilities,
    • Upgrading every ability in the Book to max level,
    • Obtaining 3 Gold abilities simultaneously, and
    • Obtaining 3 of the same ability simultaneously.

So spend the first few runs carefully building your Books up to craft a set of powers that you can use to kick massive ass in your later runs. It’s well worth the effort. 🙂

 

Other DP Quests

Most of the DP quests are pretty obvious. The Robotic Arm, the Jumanji Chessboard, the Folding Fan, and a D20 are each available every run, but the D20 won’t work every time you use it. You can buy Evil Energy Crystal Cores and Ferocious in the Maze’s unique store. You can’t get the Heart of Heart and the Heart of Spade in the same run.

I don’t yet know how to obtain a Sin Claw or how to resurrect Black Chess Bishop Samuel. I’ll edit those in as I figure them out.

[EDIT]According to Puffed Smoke on the G&D Forums, you can get Sin Claw by buying a Ferocious statue and tossing it into a Blast Furnace; and you can meet Black Chess Bishop Samuel on F2 by ignoring the Evil God statue on F1. 🙂 [/EDIT]

 

…And that’s it for now. A few more days and I’ll finish my current Big Long Run and post all about it. Until then, I hope this helps! 😀

Pigsy is a Badass…I Think (Short Run/Post)

Just a silly short for y’all today.

Maze: God’s Chessboard

Purpose: Completing the first exploratory story quest.

Mainball: Archaeologist — Unbeknownst to many, Archaeologist has venture-type stats, which means taking him main when you intend to punch lots of faces isn’t actually a bad thing. And of course the whole Hand of Balrog interaction can’t be beaten for giving you a stupid high Attack and a huge pile of HP on top of it.

Linkball 1: Yaksha — When you don’t know what you’re up against, it’s good to take a solid source of healing, and a way to deal emergency damage without punching faces. Yaksha gives you both, and benefits enormously from a stupid high Attack.

Linkball 2: Pigsy — Pigsy’s 40% bleed effect is kind of a non-issue until you get really deep, so it’s not really noticeable for most runs. But the ability to counterattack enemies that make Active (which includes Ranged) attacks means that Ranged attackers never get a second attack off against you even if they’re on the other side of the floor — pure gold.

Artifact: Hand of Balrog — The whole point here is to get a huge Attack and then abuse it, so this is obvious.

Potion: Potion of Evil Dragons — +HP, +Attack, what’s not to love?

What? No Titles?: I didn’t take any Titles. Didn’t need ’em! It was a 30-floor run, and in God’s Chessboard, there’s literally no reason to not kill every mob the instant you see it. They all build off of each other, so leaving any of them alive is a bad idea in the first place. And because it was that first story run, there wasn’t really anything to talk about in terms of questing or even really understanding what the hell was going on.

But let’s Theorycraft Titles Anyway: Playing Pigsy means you want a nice, high Attack as both your Bleed damage and your ability to instagib ranged attackers who get a swing at you depend on it. There are two basic ways to max out your Attack:

  • You can play Sword Sage, which is better on a super-deep, super-long run where you can constantly gain Attack as you dive, or,
  • You can play with Blade of Ruin — but because you’re interested mostly in the protection-from-ranged-attackers part, you want your BoR up front, which means you’re not as worried about Duke of Destruction, but you are definitely worried about Great Swordsmith (Anvil) so you can build yourself a set of Dragon Mail. (But that said, Duke isn’t a bad addition to the Great Swordsmith plan.)

But what that actually means is that, with Pigsy, you can play both of those. So at some point Soon(TM), I’m going to try a Pigsy run with Sword Sage, Great Swordsmith (Anvil), and Legendary Mage (Earth) to get max Power to take max advantage of Blade of Ruin. And since BoR keeps you from taking Counterattack damage, I’m not going to worry that much about healing, so I’ll skip on Yakusha and instead take Parasite #3 (Sword in the Stone) for the huge +30 Attack bonus — which will turn into +40 thanks to the 35% bonus from Archaeolorog, which will eventually become +52 (via Sword Sage) just from that one Gumball. Nice!

…unless I learn something about God’s Chessboard that makes me think that won’t work. Until then, keep ‘balling, ‘ballers, and let your Nineteenth Harrow do the talking!

 

 

A Pretty Darn Speedrunny Abyss Farming Run

Maze: Saint’s Tower

Purpose: Get the last 20 shards I need to start my Prince statue.

Mainball: Vampire Hunter — Originally I was going for the whole ‘never get counterattacked’ shtick. In detail: 20% from Novice Warrior, 15% from Great Swordsmith (Crucible), 20% from Vampire Hunter’s Cloak, 20% from Crystal Dress+Shoes is 75% no-counterattack — plus about a 20% dodge from…something…left me only taking counterattacks 12.5% about the time.

Linkball 1: Kairo Monarch — See below.

Linkball 2: Kairo Concubine — This run only has to go to F60, because I’m more than willing to s/l 30 for half a day if it means finishing this run in a minimum amount of actual runtime. With both Kairos, I only have to actually fight my way to F18, because I start with 2 Robot Capsules and get 2 more every 3 floors — so I can spawn Cubefriends literally every floor from F19 to F60 and only ever need my massive counterattack-denial abilities when punching the boss in the face.

Venture Title: Great Swordsmith (Crucible) — Gotta get that 15% counterattack reduction, boyz.

Melee Title: Sword Dancer — Wanted to max out my Attack ’cause my pets Attack was based on mine. Was thinking Sword Sage, but never got above Sword Dancer.

Magic Title: Magic Apprentice — Just 3 stars for the purpose of spellcasting. 🙂

Artifact: Hand of Balrog — Because 50% bonus Attack (20% from Warrior Jr., 20% from Vampire Cloak, and 10% from the Hand) is a good thing. 😀

Potion: of Titans — I guess? Why not.

The Rundown — Was, like you might predict, really quick and dirty.  The only EP I spent pre-Pumpkin Carriage was on Magic Taffy. As soon as I had the Pumpkin Carriage, I also acquired Great Swordsmith (Crucible), one-starring my way there. Next I 3-starred all three ground-floor classes to get my basics covered. By then, I was on F18 and every floor became “pop a Robot Capsule, find enemies quickly, collect loot, keep moving.”

[EDIT] Right, I did do the whole ‘collect the special spells, gain +50 Atk/Pwr and +500 HP/MP’ routine right on time on F45ish. Just ’cause why wouldn’t I? [/EDIT]

On FX9, I’d spend whatever EP I had built up three-starring my way to Sword Sage (and never quite making it.) Then, I’d pop in on the Boss and kill him.

Boss Strategy:

  1. Cast Bless (or Blade of Ruin on F60).
  2. Pop a Robot Capsule.
  3. Cast one of Stoneskin (F30, F40) or Icicle (F50, F60).
  4. Punch face. (F30 dies)
  5. Punch face. (F40 dies)
  6. Switch over to Light Boss, Cast Divine Favor (F50) or Aurora Barrier (F60).
  7. Cast Divine Favor.
  8. Punch face.
  9. Switch over to Dark Boss, Punch face (F50, dies)/cast Stoneskin (F60)
  10. Punch face.
  11. Punch face. (F60 dies)

 

Did it Work? — Absolutely. If I had to do it again, I’d swap out Vampire Hunter (strictly unnecessary to fuss about counterattacks when you’ve got Cubefriends doing the munching for you) for Commando (much better Boss facepunching).  It’s not Howling, but then nothing is — but for the low low cost of spending one action at the beginning of each floor, you, too, can get a pretty damned effective speedrun to F60 for the purposes of farming just about any damn thing you please out of two linked Kairocubes.

Goofing Off with Pets in Erathia

Maze: Erathia

Purpose: I’m searching for my last Rukh Egg so I can 80/80 this thing and be done with it. But more than that, I’m having some fun with Ranger’s Song pets.

Mainball: Mahiraga — Mahiraga has a pet whenever he wants one, but more than that, when taken main, brings a second pet with him — and that pet creates a pretty decent (+20 Atk/+100 HP) buff for all pets once it’s been pumped up.

Linkball 1: Puppeteer — The most survivable pet-master gumball of them all; turns Mahiraga’s +20 Atk into 100 points of damage shield per floor.

Linkball 2: Autobots — The wrecking ball that takes down Bosses and other big brutes (read: Unknown Entity.)

Venture Title: Great Elf King (Lantern) — +20% pet Attack and HP isn’t much when you’re hanging out with a Black Leopard, but when you’re rolling with Mahiraga’s Snake + Mahiraga’s God Statue + Puppet + Autobots, it really adds up. Or rather, multiplies.

Melee Title: Titan Knight  — You’re rarely if ever going to use the Earth Spike proc, but really the clutch bit here is getting Knight of Faith until Heavy Armor Knight. Also, turning Earth Spike into a legit nuke for the late late game (in combo with Earth Master) is pretty nice, too.

Magic Title: Planar Prophet — Without Planar Prophet, it’s ridiculously hard to get a hold of the Mechanical Titles, and those are worth having.

Mechanical Title: Energy Devourer — The whole “1% boost to Power for each 5% below MaxMP” thing is huge. In most Mazes, it would be all but impossible to really take advantage of it, because it’s so easy to lose HP way faster than you can spend MP. But in Erathia, where you can pretty handily start getting free 3rd-5th level spells every floor, taking Planar Prophet means running the first 60-ish floors four times, which means once you get low, you can start pouring through your huge backlog of spells like no one’s business. Do not take the +MP stars until you’re actually below 5% of your MaxHP — you don’t really need the one extra scroll per 5 floors, and taking them just makes it harder to get the +%Power that you really want.

Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — As much as it’s a standby for Erathia, when you’re shooting to max out four titles and buy all the Ancient Elements and assorted other bits and pieces you come across and regularly pay 100 EP to resurrect Puppet and Mahiraga’s Statue (and you’re not taking the Noble Set), it’s particularly necessary.

Potion: Lich’s Enhancement Liquid — Ignoring 20% of the enemies Spell Resistance is big, and +5 Power isn’t anything to sneeze at, either.

Ancient Tech: Basically, the idea here is to use your sciences to boost your damage shield (by boosting your Attack), your Defense, your Power, and your Ignore Spell Resistance%.

  • Blue: +Defense, +%Damage Reduction, +Attack, +%Component Drop; +Attack/+%Ignore Physical Resist.
  • Green: +%Dodge/Reduce Jamming, +Atk/Pwr/HP/MP, +Defense/Reduce Reflect Dmg, +HP/%Key Locate; Mechanical Titles.
  • Red: +Power, +%Damage Spells, +%High-Level Damage Spells, +%Support Spells; +Power/+%Ignore Magical Resist.
  • Yellow: +Power/+%Air, +Defense/+%Earth, +%IgnoreSpellResist/+%Dark, +Attack/+%Fire; +Active Skill Energy Accumulation.

 

The Rundown: This run took forever. I ran from 1-61–>10-63–>10-63–>10-184, picking up the Unknown Entity kill on the third visit to F10. I started by charging straight to Great Elf King, then straight to Planar Prophet. Then I backfilled all the Magic Titles, then shot straight to Heavy Armor Knight and took all three stars. I backfilled all the Venture titles, killed the Mysterious Creature, shot to Energy Devourer, filled in the two Power stars, then backfilled all the Warrior titles, filled out all of Titan Knight, and finally backfilled all the Mechanical titles. (Oh, I picked up Decour somewhere around F40 for a while, too, but he was already max leveled so I basically just let him do his thing without paying much attention until he died.)

The pets killed the hell out of everything all the way to about F120 — the only times I ever had to tap a bad guy were in the Satellites and the other subfloors, where one tap activated all mah pets and the rest of everything got eaten. From F120 to F184, I bombed everything out with mah airshipz, because I was too lazy and filled with ennui at that point to actually put any effort into the run.

Finally, FINALLY I found a freaking Rukh Egg after 341 floors.

Lessons Learned: OK, so for the record, taking Puppet and Mahiraga’s Statue in the same run is stupid. They both attack on turn 5, and half the time, Puppeteer will still kills from the Statue, which slows down the Statue’s growth. In fact, the Statue’s growth system kind of makes it stupid to run it with any pets unless you need them to get by. Fortunately, with this many other pets on hand, you don’t really need the Statue to grow that much — the important part (the pet buff) you get by feeding the statue your own Mahiraga Energy, not corpses.

Also, even when you really push the pet thing as hard as it can go, you still peter out around F120 (unless you’re really massively abusing Howling).

Also, tapping 4 times in between each Puppet/Statue attack is slow as f**k, and that’s annoying, too. So I don’t suggest anyone do this. Let me suffer for you. 🙂

The Most Efficient Dragonball Farming Method Ever

Got this idea from Hengyu Lin on the G&D forums, tried it, and it works wonders, so I thought I’d share with y’all. Happy Gumballing!

Maze: Pirate’s Port

Purpose: Nailing the fastest possible Dragon Wishes, for the purpose of getting the day’s Gems as quickly as available.

Mainball: Panda — There’s a special interaction here: if you get the Master Turtle’s Shell and give it to the Turtle Master (who only shows up w/Panda Main and always on F29), you get four Dragonballs (and a fifth if you have Farplane Ranger (Lantern) when you open the Shark’s Stomach)!

Linkball 1: Divine Dragon — Duh. How else u gonna get an extra Dragonball per 20 floors (on average)?

Linkball 2: Flagellant (alternately, Junkman) — Flagellant nets you 1d2 Dragonballs once you’re done with Venture titles, or Junkman nets you a very rare Dragonball from his Trash Cans. I prefer Flagellant in general (feels better to deliberately finish off the 2nd or 3rd wish than accidentally get your 3rd dragonball or whatever). That said, if you haven’t gotten Junkman’s baby, play Junkman until you do. 🙂

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger (Lantern) — If you’re farming Dragonballs, you’re endgame enough that you can just push through the Venture title first without stressing about your ability to keep descending, and you don’t want to open the Shark’s Stomach until you get FPR(l), so just do it.

Melee Title: Duke of Destruction — This is the one maze where you’re most likely to land a complete set of Dragon mail, and there’s literally nothing special about the enemies in this maze that you need to work around here, so just go for broke and look for the classic ‘easy mode’ combo.

Magic Title: Legendary Mage — See above.

Artifact: Belt of Duke of Destruction — You won’t wear it once you get the Dragon mail, but it doubles the eventual proc rate of Duke of Destruction, which is super awesome.

Potion: Hell Crimson Reagent — Because really, you don’t need a potion at all, but slightly better Blades of Ruin can’t hurt.

The Rundown: Not going to go into huge detail here as there’s almost no strategy involved. Nail FPR(l) as close to F1 as possible, then fill out Venture titles so you can get the Dragonballs from Flagellant. Move on to Melee, fill it out entirely, get Flagellant’s crit chance, move onto Magic, fill it out completely.

If you get the Turtle Master’s Shell, you can hang out long enough to get 3 Dragon Wishes ’cause you’ll basically get one free from the Shell’s 4 (secretly 5) plus Flagellant’s 1-2. The other 66% of the time, you can still land 2 wishes fairly easily just by working your way down.

[Edit a couple days later] I should note, too, that if you’re serious about farming Wishes at optimal speed, just quit and restart if you open the Shark’s Stomach and don’t get the Turtle Master’s Shell. It’s way easier to run to F29 three times to get your Gems than it is to run to F80+ once. :D[/edit]

Sorry for the short post, work is still blitzed from the post-holiday catchup, but I wanted to let y’all know I’m not dead, and while I’m not quite as active on G&D as I was (mostly due to no new maze content in some time and getting stuck on a couple of other games), I’m not going anywhere, either. 🙂

Peace!

Speedrunning Erathia: The Hunt for BB-7

Maze: Erathia

Purpose: Find BB-7, and hopefully a Boxing Quintessence (my last DP quest, still 0/3) along the way. Oh, and rack up some more kills with Decour.

Mainball: Future Cat — The only two ways to really speedrun and search for BB-7 (which requires a mechanical Gumball as main) are Blue Shark + Athena, which is a power team I’ve already run plenty and didn’t care to repeat, or Future Cat + Three-Eyes, which…is a power team I’ve already run plenty and didn’t care to repeat. Sigh. Oh, well.

Linkball 1: Three-Eye King — Ain’t no such thing as a speedrun without a powerful pet to insta-gib things for you upon reveal.

Linkball 2: Cytus — One of the biggest problems with opening up a can of Howling early on in Erathia is that you have to either deal with a relatively puny Attack, or run the risk of Howling dying easily upon hitting a bunch of Reflect monsters. Cytus helps mitigate that danger significantly by producing a buff of +5 Attack and +50 HP every time TEK uses his SkyEye — and because of the groups of mobs showing up in all of the Satellites and Crashed Airships, you can actually build up enough Energy to use SkyEye semi-regularly even with Howling murderizing everything in her path.

Venture Title: Great God of Thieves  — Can’t find BB-7 without it!

Melee Title: Duke of Destruction — Eventually, Howling will die, and when that happens, you want to have another mechanic in place that can keep the speed high. Duke does it.

Magic Title: Legendary Mage — Because Duke. We’re not trying to kill the Unknown Creature or collect all the Opticii or anything, so no need for Planar Prophet.

Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — ’cause Erathia.

Potion: Potion of Great Mechanic — Mostly because I wanted to prove that with Cytus, you don’t need a Werewolf Potion to get a solid speedrun out of Howling.

The Rundown: One-starred to GGoT, backfilled Magic Bandit (then spawned Howling with the bonus +100 HP on F7 or so) and Explorer, got to business…by which I mean going back and forth between Magic and Melee, leveling up one Title at a time. Novice Warrior –> Apprentice Mage –> Warrior Jr. –> White Mage –> Sword Dancer –> Priest –> Dragon Warrior (Time Machine from F57–>F27) –> Air Master.

Then I took Duke and its %activate stars, then Legendary Mage and it’s +round stars, by which point I found BB8 and the run was over.

I did a lucky early Holy Rebirth, which means I was able to grab Decour by F15, so that was a bit of a side bonus. He benefits quite a bit from the TEK/Cytus interaction as well. Snagged my (first) Boxing Quintessence around F45 the first time around, and finally found BB7 somewhere around F45 mark II.

Floor Strategy: Literally just speedtap every damn thing and let Howling sort it out. If something doesn’t die to Howling, great! Tap it and get +5 energy for SkyEye.

Dungeon/Satellite Strategy: If you have SkyEye, use it and follow up with Memory Fragment for the pets buff. If not, tap to kill two things while Howling eats the other two for the +10 SkyEye energy.

Boss Strategy: Summon Satellite, punch face, Icicle, punch face moar. I only ever got down to F57, so it didn’t have to get more complex than that.

Takeaway: While I was right, and Cytus+SkyEye did a passable job of keeping Howling alive long enough to hunt through some seventy-five-ish floors, the mental effort of charging and using SkyEye followed by Memory Specimen really took away that speedrun spirit. Speedruns are supposed to be brainless and stupid and taptaptappy, and while this was like that ~70% of the time, that other 30% killed the buzz.

That said, Cytus + SkyEye + Decour is rock solid. Decour was still putzing right along kicking ass and taking names and having way more HP than necessary when I ended this run. If your goal is to level up Decour, Cytus + Skyeye on a super long run is a great way to do it. (Next up: testing the summoned-creatures buff that is given by Mahiraga through the Image of SemiHemiDemiQuavers.)

 

Visitng F220 of Erathia courtesy of High Priest + Planar Prophet

Maze: Erathia

Purpose: Getting as deep as I can in a tough-ass Maze that I haven’t really mastered yet, just to prove I can go down on a fresh hole like no one’s business.  (Turns out my wife won’t let me say that. Lemme try again.) — just to prove that I can drive my balls deep into (Nope, didn’t even get to the end of the sentence that time. One more.) — that I can achieve the climax REACH THE TOP OF THE LEADERBOARD.  (Thanks, honey!)

 

Mainball: Blacksmith — I wanted Venture main for the F1 Farplane for the extra elements from the soul. Also, Blacksmith is the best Attack-boosting Venture type there is, and I plan on punching a lot.

Linkball 1: High Priest — One of the best deep divers around because he combines a free random stat point per floor with the game’s only transcribe effect that gives just as many rank 5 spells as rank 1…so if you travel a sh!tload of floors, you end up with a sh!tload of stats and a sh!tload of high-level spells. Like literally I died on F220 with more than a dozen Timestills and more than that of every other 5th level spell. 🙂

Linkball 2: Hercules — In the ‘traditional’ setup, this is Monkey King for the extra stat per floor, but Erathia don’t play no “gotta wear my own hat” gumballs, and it offers some in-Maze backtravel, which means Herc has access to his Final Form, giving you a net of 1.72x your base stats (1.3 the first time, 1.01 the second and third times, and another 1.3 the fourth time.)  Yeah, I ended this run with more than 2700 base Attack. 😀

 

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger — ‘Cause souls. And Magic Bandit. But mostly souls. See, the big limiting factor to super-deep runs in Erathia is actually your Airship energy. It’s trivially easy to rip through floors using your Airship and never see a real dip in your Energy, but then you hit like one unlucky Satellite and suddenly you’re at half energy. Keeping it at full for every encounter is vital, and nothing allows you to do that quite like a plentiful supply of Driver’s Souls.

Magic Title: Planar Prophet — Obviously.

Melee Title: Sword Sage — I held out on taking Sword Sage’s main title until F150, just to eke out as much possible benefit from that 30% as I could. I ended up jumping from ~1.8k to ~2.6k with that one level plus the rest of the stars, all purchased in one go. Also, this is one of the few Mazes where the Physical Resist Resist and the Dodge reduction and (admitted only occasionally) the Curse reduction are all useful, so…bonus!

Artifact: Harp of Adventurers — I almost took Sword Sage’s Flag for the stars, but decided this was a better idea and never regretted it.

Potion: Cactus Juice — Had to do it. Too much punching and no other mechanics for avoiding the damage to be had. 🙂

The Rundown: The usual start: one-star to FPR(l), then fill in Explorationist and Magic Bandit for EP purposes. Then two more stars of Treasure Seeker to locate the enemies faster ’cause I wanted to do this run in two days and not more, and all three stars of Novice Warrior because it synergizes so well with the -15% counterattacks from Steam Gloves.

Then I started up Magic, filling in every level star by star until literally everything was full. I even had time to back up and fill in Night Walker for the extra power before my first PoE from F59 to F8.

On the second trip down, I filled in Melee star by star up to 3*Sword Master and bought all my Farplane Ranger stars. When I hit F59 again, I went back to F8 again, and starting buying literally everything I could, because why not? I had thousands of EP just sitting around. Somewhere around F20 take II, I picked up Dragon Magic from a wish, because Dragon Wing Ward is 100% necessary for surviving past F170 or so.

I trucked all the way down to F99 at that point, because of Hercules. See, he gets a +30% bonus the first and fourth times that he passes F51. The first time, you don’t really get any control over how many floors you traveled to get there — but by taking by third run from F8-F99, I maximized the stat gains I could make before that second 30% boost hit, so landing it vaulted me up nearly 500 points of Attack.

So I bounced back up to F46, and somewhere around F80-take-two, I got ahold of the Dragon Titles and maxed them out entirely in a single go. I held out on taking Sword Sage until F150, again to max out the 30% as hard as i could.

Ancient Science Choices: The Ancient Sciences are an interesting thing. There are six options and two or three Master options for each color. (Master Chips are in bold, Special Chips are in bold italics, and the ones I chose are in colored text.)

Blue:

  • Reduce long-range damage by 3% per Steam item worn
  • Increase drop rate of Engineering components by 9% per Steam item worn
  • Defense +3 for each Steam item worn
  • Damage Reduction 3% per Steam item worn
  • Attack +3 per Steam item worn
  • Dodge +3% per Steam item worn
  • Attack +20%; Ignore Physical Resistance 20% when wearing full Steam set.
  • 20% chance to avoid each damage source when wearing full Steam set.

Green:

  • Defense +3, reduce reflect damage by 75%.
  • +6 Attack, 6% chance to insta-gib non-Bosses on attack.
  • HP +60 & 9% chance to detect Key each floor.
  • Attack and Power +6, HP and MP +30.
  • Dodge +9% and immune to Jamming.
  • Attack +6, Defense +9%
  • Attack and Power +10%; recover 5% HP per floor
  • Gain 5% Atk for each 20% you drop below MaxHP; 5% counterattack reduction
  • Gain access to the Mechanical Title (found by killing Unknown Creature).

Red:

  • +9% damage to high-level spells per piece of Electrical equipment worn.
  • Power +3 for each piece of Electrical equipment worn.
  • Ignore 9% of enemy Dodge per piece of Electrical equipment worn. 
  • +9% to Healing spells per piece of Electrical equipment worn.
  • +9% to Support spells per piece of Electrical equipment worn.
  • +9% to Damage spells per piece of Electrical equipment worn.
  • Power +20% and Ignore Spell Resistance 20% when wearing full Electric Set
  • Effect of All Spells +30% when wearing full Electric Set
  • +15 random stats gained upon dying (yep!) (found by killing Unknown Creature).

Yellow:

  • Air magic +15%, Power +6
  • Earth magic +15%, Defense +6
  • Fire magic +15%, Attack +6
  • Water magic +15%, MP +60
  • Light magic +15%, HP +60
  • Dark magic +15%, Ignore Enemy Spell Resistance +9% 
  • Effects of All Spells +15%; 50% to gain 2 Power upon upgrading Magic Titles.
  • Gumballs’ Active Skills gain 50% more Energy. 

I learned, sadly, that the Active Skills thing doesn’t work on Divine Dragon Magic. 😦 But at least it made High Priest recharge 50% faster.

Floor Strategy: For the first hundred floors, it was pretty straightforward — I had enough raw stats to just keep doing the whole reveal-punch-reveal-punch routine, dropping a Divine Favor that healed more than my MaxHP every few floors.

From about F111 to F141, it got to be challenging enough that I started to nuke down the high-attack Jammer Bots and the annoying-ass triple-damage Ranged Bots and Lizard Bots. Somewhere in there, the numbers got big enough that everything was question marks, and I started using Ice Shields as a way to test enemies’ Attack values every few floors, letting them hit me so that I could determine how scared I needed to be.

Then at around 140-something, enemy stats got high enough that getting insta-gibbed by any given ranged mob or LizardBot was a near-certainty, and they were all but impossible to kill in one hit. That’s when all those low-level buffs and debuffs that you typically ignore all Maze long became super-vital. I survived by liberally raining down Stoneskin, Curse, Bless, Ice Shield, and Blind on anything that could one-shot me. Fortunately, I had about a metric kilo-asston of spells thanks to the Electrical Set + High Priest, and Conjurer’s Totems kept my MP up nicely.

 

Around 160, everything would OHK me. That’s when it occurred to me that there was no particular need to clear floors, as I had 20k EP that I would never spend anyway. So, every floor became an optimization exercise: how can I find the Key with the minimum expenditure of Scrolls and without taking any full-strength hits? Basically, more of the same debuff strategy, but much more constant and more carefully.

Until around F180, when I had a total derp moment: I looked at my Elements and noticed I had 350+ Aeronautics Elements just sitting around. So I turned that into around a hundred Interphone Batteries and started clearing literally every floor with the Airship. I used all of the Driver’s Souls I had gathered along with a few dozen Aeronautics Elements to keep the Airship’s energy peaked.

When I died at the F220 Boss, the airship was still clearing floors without any real problems, losing ~6% energy if I fought a Satellite and nothing at all on non-Satellite floors.

Boss Strategy: Always start with an Airship Summon, of course. Then Electrostatic Field (Timestill first past about F180 as the ‘you cast a spell, now you die’ backlash gets to be unbearable) (also, use Opticons first to get the +1% to future Fields; same logic w/Timestill), then Great Prophecy (twice if you have Dragon Magic) About a third of the time, you’ll end up with Blade of Ruin, Timestill, or both. Cast the other one, toss a Disrupting Ray, and punch punch punch. As the spells end, recast them (except only cast a Disrupting Ray if you know you’ll get hits on every round of it). That’s it. Landing the Dragon Titles and thus the ‘kill a Boss at 20% or less HP’ ability is big, but not nearly as important as “having High Priest” and thus bringing literally a few dozen of every spell, low and high level alike, to the table.

When I died on F220, it wasn’t because of a lack of spells, MP, or desire to continue — that’s just the floor where my Airship could no longer take out the Boss’ Satellites. It wiped out two of them, but the thing is, unlike the Boss itself, the Satellite counters tick down by one every time Timestill ends — and the F220 Boss has enough HP that I was throwing enough Timestills that those damn Satellites got me.

If I had decided to reload and try again, I could probably have used Stoneskin or Aurora Barrier to get through other 20 or 30 floors, but by then I was the top of the leaderboard by 50 Floors, and I had gotten every DP quest that I could (except a few Magazines, but whatever, those’ll come as I finish up the last five that I couldn’t add any more to on this run.) So, I called it quits.

Lessons Learned: If you’re going to go deep, always buy every Spell you see in the shops — they do all actually have a purpose at some point. I was amazed to see myself worrying that I was running low on Blinds and Ice Shields (two spells I almost never use).

Also, deep runs are absolutely dependent on the Divine Dragon’s help. I could have made it without the Dragon Titles, but no way could I have done it without Dragon Magic…and the Titles did help an insane amount, too.

Finally, I think a team with Nelson + Orbit Satellite, if it were otherwise set up for a super-deep run, could probably just waltz through quite a bit of Erathia, given the ease with which my Alliance (yep, didn’t even switch to a real combat setup, was fully geared for SkyEP) did the job. Just prepare for the Boss and his anti-spell tactics intelligently, and Erathia will spread wide open for you to go balls-deep BE YOURS FOR THE TAKING.

(Thanks, hon.)

Accidentally Getting the Erathia Boss Prize w/ Catherine

Maze: Erathia

Purpose: DP questing! …which I massively failed at, so I’m going to retroactively call this Boss Prize! instead. :p

Mainball: Catherine — Gotta figure out how this gumball works. The +%damage and %defense vs. Machines is very interesting because it comes on a Magic gumball, which is unique — very few Magic gumballs will help your Melee-types beat face through an entire three mazes (City of Steam, Spacecraft Ruins, and Erathia) and most of a fourth (Avallon Fortress).

But I wanted to take her main because I wanted to find out how the Overclocking Mechanism works. Turns out it grants +90 Power and +50% Magic Resist Resistance for an entire floor. In other words, it’s “kill the Boss on F80, F90, and F100 without really breaking a sweat.” 🙂

Linkball 1: Peter — With Catherine single-handing the major obstacle Bosses, I thought I’d be wise to pair her with a Gumball that could single-hand the most annoying floor mobs from F81+. Peter is that Gumball.

Linkball 2: Great Guardian — Great Guardian was my plan for eliminating annoying-ass Reflect mobs without having to punch them in the face. He turned out to be mostly much more amazing than that, providing 100% of the “special effects” I needed to get to F79 in the first place.

Magic Title: Planar Prophet Lord of Elementals (Darkness) — So I was supposed to go through Earth Master and take Planar Prophet and do one of those 250+-floor runs to get ALL the DP…but I fat-fingered it and picked Dark Master and didn’t notice for like six floors. 😦  So, I fell back on Lord of Elementals and decided to nuke my way through whatever came.

Melee Title: Light Paladin — Really, I wanted the big Power boost from Knight of Faith and the Ranged Damage resist from Heavy Armor Knight, so Light Paladin was basically ‘better than Titan Knight’. Worked out well, though, making sure my Divine Favors were consistently big enough to be a full heal given my plentiful Power.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger — Because I knew I could get my 30-medal DP quest in a single soul, and figured I’d probably get some other benefits along the way as well.

Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — Given that the maze all but requires you to wear both  the Steam and Electric sets, you don’t really get a lot of options in the Artifact slot. You basically have to either choose a Title-based artifact that you really want the stars from, or you take Adventurer’s Harp because you know that there’s a bunch of other stuff to spend your EP on. (Like so much that I went Magic Bandit + Adventurer’s Harp and I still didn’t max out my Titles until F86.)

Potion: Potion of Great Mechanic — The obvious choice is Cactus Potion, but I had plenty of ways to avoid punching Reflect mobs, so I went for the extra Elements instead.

The Rundown: I one-starred up to Farplane Ranger just ’cause, then maxxed out Magic Bandit and then Explorer for EP purposes. Then I took all three levels of Magic Apprentice, then Novice Warrior, then the other two stars of Treasure Seeker.

Then I rocketed up the Magic title, filling in Black Mage, Conjurer, Dark Master (D’OH!), and taking the main title and Power stars of Lord of Elements before moving on to Melee. There I took one star of Knight, three stars of Knight of Faith, three stars of Heavy Armor Knight, and then the other two stars of Knight.

Finally, I filled in all of my missing stars except Light Paladin. I waited until I had maxed out all of my other sources of HP (both from Titles, the Steam suit, and finding the +100 HP Medical Chip) and was below 100HP on F86 before I took Light Paladin and promptly filled in all of its stars at once.

Science Management: First off, obviously, don’t use any of your Research Reports for EP, period. You’ll want them all eventually. Also, you need a crapload of Ancient Elements, so anything you can do to get more of them, do that.

That said, I leveled up my Steam suit thusly: +Elements/floor, +Defense, +avoid-counterattack%, +%HP/floor, buy one of every Science for the item-based specials, +Attack, +HP. I ended the run at F101 with one point in each of the advanced sciences and the rest of the suit maxed out.

And my Electric suit like this: +Dodge%, +Power, one of every Science, +Damage%, +Healing%, +Aid%. Same story as the Steam suit in terms of final stats, except I never bothered leveling up the +MP slots.

Aviatronics, I leveled up +healing%, bought one of every skill, +Energy, -enemy Stats, -enemy Energy, and then maxed out Law Satellite for the Doctor before the run ended.

Advanced Sciences, the only two I leveled up at all was the +Element Drop% one and the Mutant Demon Gene for the extra 5% counterattack reduction. (Getting that up to 40% total was very nice.)

Floor Tactics: Pretty simple until about F70: reveal enemies one at a time, punch them to death, pausing only to nuke or Special down the reflect mobs. I cleared most group situations (Satellites, crashed airships) with Great Guardian or a Death Ripple since I had lots and they were OP.

From about F70, I had to be more careful because the stupid high-dodge LizardBot had a high enough Attack to be quite dangerous with it’s chance for triple damage, and it doesn’t count as a ranged mob so Heavy Armor Knight doesn’t help with it at all. So those bots got added to the list of ‘things to nuke.’ Fortunately, because of Heavy Armor Knight, the ranged mobs themselves were facepunchable down to F91, so it kind of made up for it.

From F81, I had used up enough of my nukes that I had to start being careful, so I switched on Peter to take out the LizardBots and the ReflectBots, figuring there should be less than 40 of those in the last 20 floors. Turned out I had good luck with Night Walker’s Lantern and also had gotten 6 Candles by the time I hit F91, so I key-hunted through the last 10 floors and actually ended with Peter just under half full.

Boss StrategyF30, F40, and F50 all dropped to dual Great Guardian blasts. (F50 might have taken a Bless before activation, I don’t remember.) F60 went Bless, GGBlast, Icicle, GGBlast, facepunch, facepunch. F70 I took out with Electrostatic Field, Meteor Shower, Icicle, Meteor Shower x3, GGBlast x2 (absorbing a hit in there because I could tank it with my ridiculous HP).

F80 I straight up forgot to use Catherine’s Overclock and paid a Timestill instead, but basically took him down with a few Meteor Showers and an Implosion.

F90 I hit the Overclock button and used a few Meteor Showers, a few Gravities, two Icicles, and a Timestill.

F100 I was out of big nukes and Icicles — I thought for sure I wasn’t going to make it. But I rolled out Overclock, Holy Bolt, Disrupting Ray, Timestill, my last Meteor Shower, more Holy Bolts, my last Timestill (from the Opticon), a pair of Chain Lightnings, and a final triumphant Armageddon just for the lulz.

Lessons Learned: Honestly, I’ve never really liked ‘direct effect’ Gumballs like Great Guardian or Peter; I prefer to build stats with clever gimmicks. I’ve always figured that ‘direct effect’ Gumballs were basically short-run-only ‘trick ponies.’ But this run taught me that, used cleverly, those direct effects can actually be pretty damn good.

Great Guardian would clearly be a craptonne better in an Attack-centric build; as it was, my Attack was passable, but passable doesn’t mean sh!t past F75ish, so GG fell into disuse. The last time I hit that button on F86, it didn’t even kill the single mob it was pointed at. BUT! That said, it was a great way to save Scrolls through first ~59 levels. And actually, the whole ‘only gaining Energy when the Prince shows up’ thing turned out to not suck nearly as much as I thought it would.

Peter, on the other hand, is amazing if you have a way to save his Fencing for the last, most annoying mobs you’ll face.

And Catherine…sheesh. As a Link, she’d make a great Magic gumball to arbitrarily toss onto a Melee-oriented team to take into any robot maze (though honestly I think Puppeteer would still be better.) As Main, though, that Overclock thing really is all that and a bag of chips. I never would have made it through this run without it. Like Flagellant, she’s a Boss-hunter extraordinaire when taken Main, so team her up with some great floor-clearing Gumballs and you’ve got a great Boss-Prize-Hunting team — even if that isn’t the goal you had in mind when you started your run. 😀

 

Getting Peter via Bloody Fortress w/Pope

So I looked around a few weeks ago and noticed two things.

  1. I still haven’t gotten Peter. I mean, I hate the SL/30 game and I flat refused to sit around for days trying to get Creator to drop his key in Arena. But then I remembered that…
  2. I got Creator like two months ago through 8 solid months of $1 and $3 purchases. Apparently I got so caught up in the Hell Frontier game that I just never looked at him. Also…
  3. There are zero guides on the entire Internet for doing a paid Peter run through Bloody Fortress. — Turns out this is wrong, my search somehow missed this guide in the Forums’ Files section (the best single G&D resource online, that Files section!)

And I thought “Hey, this is an opportunity to create something that at least a few people will probably appreciate!”  😀   So, to quote my favorite Super Mario Kart driver, “Here we go-ooo! Mwaaahahahahahahahahaaa!”

 

Maze: Bloody Fortress

Purpose: Unlock Peter and his piles o’ treasure.

Mainball: Captain — I wanted my Venture titles to be cheap, so Captain had to be the first in line.

Soul Link 1: Time Wizard — not much choice here.

Soul Link 2: Creator — See above.

Venture Title: Great Swordsmith (crucible) — I knew two things about this run: 1) it was going to be hell getting through F81-99, and 2) I was going to have facepunch my way as deep as I could to conserve spells. I couldn’t take Novice Warrior, so I really wanted that 15% counterattack reduction to  help me keep facepunching. And of course nothing gets you through a set of floor mobs quite like a 100% counterattack prevention.

Oh, also, going through Rune Master will give me 15% more Holy Bolts, which will actually matter.

Magic Title: Pope— Pope gives me double-damage, greatly-enhanced Holy Bolts — and the Key of Lore gives me 1 Holy Bolt every other floor, which means I won’t run out of ammo if I’m careful.

Artifact: Gloves of Great Swordsmith — Because yes, the 3 extra Swordsmith’s Runes are worth having an artifact you won’t use in the final 1/3rd of your run (see below).

Potion: Athena’s Tears — because you gotta.

The Rundown: The whole way down, I purchased every single ‘set item’ out of every special shop, as well as every Demon Spleen (that’s the +Power one) and most of the Demon Kidneys (+HP/MP one), and I kept a stock of ~1200 EP to keep buying those things when they showed up.

I started by one-starring my way up to Great Swordsmith (Crucible). Then I went back and filled in Rune Master right away, then Treasure Seeker so I could avoid activating monsters for as long as possible (to have plenty of things to pick up, so as to avoid flaming tiles). I grabbed all three stars of Magic Apprentice in time for the F30 boss (I might have had to buy the third star with the EP from beating the boss, my notes are unclear.)

Then it was one star in Priest, three stars in Light Master, and then Pope and all three MP stars in Pope to get the +75% to Holy Bolt. Then I backfilled Priest and Explorationist for the regeneration, took the Attack stars of Great Swordsmith because I needed to keep facepunching for a little longer, and then took the Power stars of Pope and Great Swordsmith. Then I basically just purchased whatever, whenever, and maxed out both Titles somewhere in the early F80s.

Key Management:  One of the more challenging aspects of any Peter run is remembering when to switch between Keys to maximize their effects. The three obvious ones are the Key of Sky (use immediately), the Key of Fate (use immediately), and the Key of Destruction (never equip it).

The Key of Time has an alluring trap built in, but don’t fall for it: as much as you might want to save it for late in the run to get the maximum boost out of it, don’t. Use it on F19, after doing absolutely everything you can to attain your current peak Power (primary importance) and HP (secondarily). Then equip the Key of Eternity and go into F20 to earn your free Timestill.

From then on, basically keep the Key of Lore equipped 90% of the time, swapping out the Key of Eternity in time to get your free Timestill every 20th floor. (When you use your one PoE, use it to get from just-after-a-20th-floor to go back to just-before-the-previous-20th-floor, so you get 2 extra Timestills from the deal. Timestill is your friend!)

You may also benefit from swapping over to the Key of War whenever it will give you a good chance to OHK an enemy with a facepunch. I actually wore a complete set of Giant’s stuff for a good portion of the middle of the maze to get the 33% chance to double damage plus, when needed, the 50% from Key of War for a solid 83% ‘crit chance’, which let me continue to play Mostly One Punch Man well into the mid-F60s, and Two Punch Man until the mid-F70s.

By that time, I had 8 Timestills and 104 Holy Bolts, and 12 Swordsmith’s Runes — which means I could mostly-freely-facepunch (Bolting down only distant Ranged mobs) my way through F87-F99. So I only had like ~15 floors worth of floor mobs and 3 Bosses I had to kill with magical might. In other words, Key Management is a super-critical part of the success of this run, as it provides like 50% of all the resources you need to make it through the difficult part! Another 20% comes from your Titles…

Faith Management: …And here’s the last 30%. 🙂 It’s crucial to get the +100% to damage spells (and all of the other bennies) from maxing out all 5 Faiths, which means you have to start intelligently to get lots of set items quickly.

Step 1: Every time you reach a Lich or Beholder (Eye Tyrant) statue and you have at least one full set*, sacrifice every full set you have to that statue. Continue until the Lich is level 8 and the Beholder is level 11. Then sacrifice exclusively to the Fire of Wisdom until it’s level 10. Equip the Torch (yes, giving up your Gloves of the Swordsmith!)

Go back to sacrificing exclusively to Lich and Beholder until Lich is level 18 and Beholder is level 19. Unequip the Torch and get your sweet Gloves back, you’ll need the stats by now. Then max out both Lich and Beholder for the items.

Now, start doing the same “sacrifice whenever you reach X statue and have stuff” with both Fire and the Knight, because you’ll need the +Attack bonus about now but you’ll also need to start mitigating the Manticore’s Roar ability, as it’s the one thing that is genuinely run-endingly powerful if left alone.

Once you max out Fire, feed either Knight or Victoria as you have stuff handy — you’ll be happy to have the HP and the -Spell Forbidden Effect from Victoria, but you’ll also need to keep your Attack up in order to continue facepunching.

* – Also, sacrifice Mephisto’s Soul Gem because it sucks and Demon Hunter’s Blade because you can’t do anything else with it anyway. And if you’re close to making an important level, go ahead and sacrifice any normal equipment you’re not using — it’s better used for Faith than being disenchanted for EP, as you’ll end the run with more EP than you know what to do with anyway.

Floor Strategy: Open as many non-enemy tiles as possible, leaving all the stuff sitting on the ground so that you can pick up 5 items to end Burning Tiles efficiently if needed. Then, if Captain’s ability is active, reveal an enemy, see how many of the missiles it will take to kill it, and if you’ll have missiles left over, reveal another enemy. Once all three missiles are ‘assigned,’ set the ability off.

Once that’s done, or if the ability isn’t active in the first place, just open one enemy and kill it before you open another. If it’s a Spiky Skeleton, you can choose to ‘kill it’ by grabbing some floor items and sucking the damage (or mitigating it with Curse, Ice Shield, or Stoneskin), or by hitting it with nukes (not Holy Bolts unless you can kill two with a single casting via Pope-iness.)

Boss Strategy: Punch down F30. Holy Bolt F40. Holy Bolt and Icicle F50. Starting with F60, use Electrostatic Field when you’re going to use Icicle, and Electrostatic Field+Disrupting Ray when you’re going to Timestill instead. Use one Timestill on F70, two on F80, three on F90, and as many as you need on F100, ’cause you’re done once you beat that big beast.   If you play your spells right, you should literally never see the Boss’ attack animation through the entire run.

Is It Worth the Effort? HELL YES. Getting through the Gate of Creation is pretty sweet — 100 Gems, a crapload of coins and Relic Fragments, and of course Peter. You also get a metric sh!t-tonne of in-maze bonus stuff that would make it relatively easy to bust through another 20 or 30 floors…but who cares? Once you get Peter and his Gems, get the hell out of there!

Peter comes into the game at 5 stars, which is a huge boost to most Ranger’s Song airships right off the bat, and his Exclusive Skill is basically a big pile of Nether Wicks on a stick, which is a great if unusual pairing with Flagellant’s big pile of “kill the sh!t out of any one boss” on a stick, as the two together can make short work of any dungeon’s F91-F100 for easy Boss Prize hunting down the road. 🙂

By the way, if you’re actually using this guide, I’d like to personally thank you for supporting my favorite game. It’s thanks to people like you that G&D is still around for me to enjoy, and I appreciate your contributions to my play time! 🙂