Power-Farming Prince with Divine Dragon, Nobunaga, and Merman

Maze: Saint’s Tower

Purpose: Abuse Nobunaga without having to take a 120+floor dive that involves a crapload of delicate mathematics. Just kidding: I needed some Priest frags for pearl-smelting and some Prince frags because some dick at QCPlay decided he should be the “extra Gumball” for one of the new statues, so I decided to try my hand at ‘power-farming’ — as in, it’s not anything fast like 3-eye King, but it’s damn near unstoppable, which is the next best thing.

Mainball: Divine Dragon — Entirely for the Dragon title, though the extra balls will probably come in handy (I used mine for 40 DD frags on this run), and the Divine Favor stockpiles make sure you’re never really threatened.

Soul Link 1: Nobunaga — When you take +30% HP from Knight and +20% HP from Primary Dragon Bloodline, that’s 50% more freaking HP. Which means the +500 HP you get from Galadriel’s Protection becomes 750 HP, which Nobunaga single-handedly turns into +50 Attack. With just a handful of low-level titles, you can walk into F40 with a 200+ Attack like it wasn’t even a thang and back that up with 1500+ HP and 20% damage reduction from Wyvern Bloodline. That sh!t really makes you feel like a mothaf***ing DRAGON.

Soul Link 2: Merman — When you have 1500+ HP and Legendary Mage adding 3 rounds to your Water Mist, that shit heals 450+ HP no matter how low your Power is. While also crippling and damaging your enemies. For a level 1 spell. Now, your Power won’t be that low, because you have Divine Dragon main, but it means you can literally focus completely on your fighting skills because your Magic is going to be distinctly your backup skill even though you (supposedly) have Magic stats and type. Gotta love that.

Magic Title: Legendary Mage (Air) — Maximizing Merman’s unique spell Water Mist 100% requires Legendary Mage. At 3 turns, Water Mist is barely even a spell. At six turns, meaning double damage and double healing, it turns into a decent option — far, far stronger than if you chose to boost it by taking Water Master instead. Also, the 40% reduction to enemy Attack and Accuracy is static, so again, no huge need to focus on Power. Which means we can go the Air route and get bigger long-lasting Electrostatic Fields and Disrupting Rays without losing much compared to taking the Earth route.

Melee Title: Light Paladin — it’s all about those big huge HP boosts, and this one is no exception. Don’t take the Light Paladin level to regain health — the part you’re after is the HP boost. Wait until you’ve cast your +500 HP spells, taken every other source of HP you can squeeze out of all of your levels, and keep any big +HP gear even if you’re not going to use it regularly just so that you can put it on before you take Light Paladin’s main title. This isn’t going to give you the same kind of ridiculous Attack boost that Sword Sage would — not by a longshot — but you’re not aiming deep, you’re aiming for a super-easy, consistent cruise to F60-80 for Prince farming purposes. This will give you the HP to do it without a sweat, and a solid Attack boost besides. If you have the spare EP, go ahead and level up the effectiveness of your giant stockpile of Divine Favors. Because why even get near the risk of death?

Venture Title: Whatevs — Again, you’re not aiming to go deep, and beyond taking Treasure Seeker for simple tactical purposes, you shouldn’t even have time to EP out your Venture titles. If you do, I’d probably go for Holy Blacksmith with the intent of crafting Pharoah’s Helmet and Istantine. And maybe a Great Druid’s Cloak, too. Triple damage Water Mist for double the duration would be a doozy. 😀

Dragon Title: Yep — You’re going to want to at the minimum take all three stars of Wyvern Bloodline and all three stars of Young Dragon bloodline. That 20% damage reduction and 20% HP boost are forces to reckon with. I stopped there, because the +HP from killing monsters was completely unnecessary.

Artifact: Duke of Destruction’s Belt — the Artifact Stars for Legendary Mage and Light Paladin are kind of meh for this build, and besides your Neck and Armor slots will already be full with Merman’s Conch Shell and Saint’s Tower’s Crystal Dress. This gives you +HP and +Attack, which is really what you care about. Alternately, you could totally take Adventurer’s Harp. That would work just fine.

Potion: Lich’s Enhancement Liquid — Because screw the boss and his Magic Resistance. If you don’t have LEL yet, I’d choose either Vampire Hunter’s Potion or Whale Oil.

The Run Down: I took nothing until I had a stockpile of 2k EP for to buy the Pumpkin Carriage. Then I never spent below that while I went about getting one star of Novice Warrior, all three stars of Knight, one star of Wyvern Bloodline, and all three stars of Young Dragon bloodline in that order before anything else. I wanted that 50% HP boost ASAP.

Then I took all three stars of Magic Apprentice, the other two stars of Novice Warrior, the other two stars of Wyvern Bloodline, and then settled in to work my way up to Legendary Mage (Air), filling in every star along the way. Once I had three stars in +1 Round to Aid Spells, I took all three stars in Treasure Seeker so I could tap less on the way down. Then I took one star of Silver Knight, then all three stars of Heavy Armor Knight, then backfilled Silver Knight. I ended up taking Light Paladin on F69, having used a Limited Broom and nothing else in terms of backtravel.

The floor strategy was pretty straightforward: reveal a thing, punch it to death before revealing anything else, repeat. When you get down by ~30% of your total HP, reveal as many enemies as you can, pop a Water Mist, and punch the highest HP or lowest Attack critter (or just collect items) while the Water Mist cripples and whittles away the enemies. (Note that I never got down far enough to pop a single Water Mist until F58, because I kept gaining more MaxHP than I was taking damage!) That 40% counterattack reduction (Crystal Dress+Crystal Shoes+Novice Warrior) stacked on top of the 20% damage reduction from Wyvern Bloodline is basically half your game — all you have to do is keep your Attack up high enough to take everything out in 1 or 2 hits, and this build can do that no problem.

The boss strategy is almost boringly effective: Pop an everlasting Electrostatic Field, swing with Sauron’s Roar, then Icicle, then more Sauron’s Roars. If the boss’s injurious Aura threatens to kill you, swap him over to the Light Side and crack open a can or two of Divine Favor and maybe give him a good old facepunch before swapping back and blowing him up the rest of the way.

The thing I like about this build is that if you get to F60 and there’s no prince, you can be completely assured that you can push through to F70 in much less than half an hour, so you can try again — and then again on F80 within the same half-hour. I could definitely have gone farther than that if I had needed to, but the rascally royal showed his face by then, so I quit and came here to tell you all about the excitement. Hope it was worth your time! 🙂



Probing the Bowels of Spacecraft Ruins: Cat w/Chef & Priest

Maze: Spaceship Ruins

Purpose: Originally, it was just “Test if Chef’s recipes using machine parts can be consumed by Future Cat.” Then it was “Collect all the codes for the computer manual.” When I inadvertently got to F70, I was all, hmmm…and added “DP Quest for F80.” Then I happened to notice while on Pause on F81 that the Boss Quest for this Maze was F90, and shit got real. 🙂

Mainball: Future Cat — Had to test if Chef’s two machine-based recipes worked with Kitteh, b/c the other two Gumballs they work with (Machine Herald and Bloody Wolf) are both Melee-types like Chef, so only Future Cat might make a “proper” teammate for Cheffery in the machine-based Mazes. (Spoiler: they work.)

Soul Link 1: Chef — Bork bork bork! Chef is like Red Hood, a gumball that you barely notice except on quite long runs. Well, this run got long, and Chef pulled his weight. The two ‘machine recipes’ are a one-time reduction to damage and burning damage, and a repeatable boost to Attack, Power, and Dodge. By the time I got to the end-maze, thanks to that potion, maxxed-out Mechanical Legs, and for the first 15 turns of each floor the Fly ability from Future Cat’s headgear, I was bopping around with a 54% dodge chance (44% after the buff ended). Pretty fly. I also probably gained ~30 Attack from that recipe and his always-available recipe for Appetizer Soup.

Soul Link 2: Priest — Spaceship Ruins is filled with high-damage activated items, so I figured focusing my magic on healing instead of harming was a good companion strategy.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger (lantern) — Spaceship Ruins has like a dozen unique corpses all over the place, so I figured FPR(l) was a pretty obvious choice. Especially since it takes one of the best activated damage items (Colt 1911) and triples its damage.

Melee Title: Sword Master –> Warrior — So one thing I noticed quickly about the boss of Spaceship Ruins is that Meteor Swarm counts as 6 magical attacks against him for purposes of swinging his Physical/Magical Resistance balance. So I figured laying on mad Physical damage and then using Meteor Swarm to reset his resistance to zero after several hits was a solid boss strategy.

Magic Title: Light Bishop — Originally I picked this as a lark, but it turns out that when you have a massive Dodge bonus helping you avoid most attacks, having the ability to heal up to full in a single spell can get you pretty deep.

Artifact: Armor of Light Oracle — I hate Exoskeleton Armor (it’s the worst of the special thingies in Spaceship Ruins), so I picked an Artifact that went in its slot.

Potion: Potion of Great Designer — I wanted to be 100% certain of getting Farplane Ranger on F1 so I wouldn’t miss a single corpse. Wasn’t necessary in the end, but whatever. 😀

The Run Down: I whipped straight to FPR(l), backed up to fill in Evil Bandit, pushed Magic up to 3-star Water Master because Icicle, bitches, and then filled in 100% of every level of Melee up to 3-star Sword Master. I couldn’t decide whether to to Sword Sage or Warrior, but ultimately Warrior won (and it was a good thing). I ended up taking Light Bishop’s first level first, then filled in all of Warrior, then backfilled the lower-level Magic titles, then the lower-level Venture titles. Ultimately, I ended up with a single Attack star in Farplane Ranger; all three Power stars, all three Attack stars, and both Artifact stars from Light Bishop; and 100% of the stars from Warrior.

I never found a PoE; ended up using Future Cat’s Time Machine on F42 to go back 30 floors. (My ‘special item floor’ was ‘ending in 2’, so I popped back on a 2-floor for an easier time getting the rest of the items.)

It turns out that if your ‘special floor’ is ‘ending in 2,’ you don’t get a computer panel on F2. You have to wait until F12 to get your first special item, and I got Exoskeleton Armor. Grumble grumble. So when I got Mechanical Legs, it was like “boing.” Straight to near-max, and The Great Dodge-ening commenced.

I didn’t really have any struggles getting to F70, largely due to the 14 rounds of 300-damage bullets you get from having FPR(l) when you stumble upon the Colt 1911 corpse. Those guns got refilled at damn near every ammo station, and took out damn near every ranged enemy in the Maze.

After F70, though, I started having to really work for it, so I decided to take the quick-and-dirty way down, and from F71 to F80, between Night Walker’s Lantern and Future Cat’s little magnifying-glass thingies, I key-hunted 7 of 9 floors. I felt like I had barely squeaked by getting to F80, and I wontonly blew my wad on the F80 boss, hitting him with Timestills and Resentment-Venting Hourglasses and Blades of Ruin like it wasn’t even a thang. And it wasn’t — he dropped like a sack of potatoes.

Then I hit Pause on F81 instead of Quitting. I’m not even sure why I did that. But when I came back to play hours later, I thought to check and see if I had cleared the Boss Reward for the new maze. …nope. …f**K!

So, it became a serious game. No more dinking around. I had to legitimately fight my way from F81 to F90 and kill the F90 boss having blown through all of my ‘easy-pass’ resources getting to F81.

I had been wearing my Artifact armor and the Power Hammer and not really doing any time-consuming piddling with equipment. Now, every floor, I swapped in Future Cat’s full set so I could get those extra 5 rounds of >50% Dodge.  Twice, I ended up burning through Stoneskins so that I could survive the trip cross-floor to reach and deactivate an Attack-enhancing Combat Pod through the crossfire of 2 or 3 ranged units. I also burned through 9 Recoverings and 4 Divine Favors in 9 floors in addition to activating a Medical Package on almost every floor. I also burned through 3 of Future Cat’s Lightning Clouds to help me soften up the baddies.

F89 was the real test: I came in with 390 HP and was facing down 3 Attack-enhanced ranged units that had 190 Attack (even getting a 50% long-range Defense boost from Consul’s Armor). Getting hit twice at all would kill me, and I had a single Recovering left which I was determined to use at the end of the floor so I could go into the F90 Boss at full life. I made the attempt seven times before I realized I had a secret resource I had been ignoring for the entire Maze: Nether Wicks. I mean, I didn’t have any, but I had enough EP to get a single star in FPR(l), which meant enough to take out 2 of those damn Ranged bastards before they shot me. It still took me some good luck successfully dodging a couple attacks beyond what would be statistically likely.

Then on F90, I came in with no Timestills, no Resentment-Venting Hourglasses, just one Blade of Ruin, and no idea how I was going to survive. I popped the BoR on turn 1, smacked him around to the tune of 1.5k per hit, Icicled on turn 3, smacked him around for the rest of the duration of BoR, popped two Aurora Barriers to absorb a single attack(!), and hit Meteor Swarm to reset the Boss’ Physical Resistance. A second Icicle got me through the next two boss attacks, and I popped Bless and punched face until I ran out. Then it was Electrostatic Field into Meteor Swarm to reset Resistance again, face-punching under Electrostatic Field, and dying to the boss’ next attack.

…then I came back thanks to a long-forgotten Holy Rebirth, punched face once more and got him down to 480 HP, and cast my one remaining Holy Rebirth to survive the Boss’ attack. With three rounds left to live and literally no tricks up my sleeve (I thought), I calculated the Boss’ resistances vs. facepunches vs. Blessed facepunches, and realized I would need to dodge one counterattack (which I was likely to do) and get one double-damage hit from Power Hammer (which i was also likely to do). Between both chances, it was really close to 50% that I wouldn’t make it.

So instead of punching his face at all, I cast my one Implosion and walked off with the Boss Prize from a run that started off as a silly one-off test of Chef’s recipe. Damn fine run if I do say so myself. 🙂

Burning Down the City of Steam — with Phoenix!

Maze: City of Steam

Purpose: 80/80 DP, bitches! Which in this case means collecting and using about a dozen magazines, ’cause I’ve done everything else.

Mainball: Phoenix — City of Steam is one of the few places in the game (maybe the only one?) that has a ranged opponent who lights you on fire. Phoenix turns getting lit on fire into a sweet 25 HP, which means as long as we can keep the damage dealt by those ranged opponents at 24 or less, we profit!

Soul-Link 1: Golden Titan — Re-read that last sentence, and understand. 🙂

Soul-Link 2: Earth Elemental — I want to PoE twice, and with Earth Elemental’s synergy, Titan Knight is a viable choice — which I want, because I want to take Heavy Armor Knight because of the whole “keep the ranged damage down” theme. Also, opening up tiles for free with both Titan Knight and the Earth Elemental Orb spell helps Phoenix deal damage to all enemies consistently with his every-8th-turn autonuke.

Magic Title: Planar Prophet — One of the key aspects of (ab)using Phoenix is taking advantage of the fact that he basically solos the first 39ish floors of any dungeon with said autonuke, which means you can invest hard in something that doesn’t pay off hard right away…like going balls-in on Planar Prophet and maxing it out so early that you can’t even use all of the floors you could go backwards, because  you aren’t that deep yet.

Melee Title: Knight of Faith –> Armored Knight –> Titan Knight — See comments under Earth Elemental. Also, Knight of Faith is more Power, which means more Phoenix burnination.

Venture Title: Rune Master –> Weapon Master –> Great Swordsmith — Honestly I waited until I had literally maxxed out my entire Magic and Melee titles before I even took a single star in anything higher than Treasure Seeker, so by the time I got here, I knew I wasn’t going to be doing any crafting (I’d disenchanted too much stuff already). This particular line is basically the default “I’m in deep and don’t know what to do with my Venture Titles” Title as it gives you some spells, some Defense, some offense, and 9 floors of “get past this floor free,” which is always a good thing to default to.

Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — Boots of Titanosaur/Planar Prophet were off the table since I’d be wearing the Electric-Powered Set, so this made sense as a strong back-up Artifact.

Potion: Cactus Juice — Because FVCK YOU, “Power Grid Type V-H22”. FVCK the FVCK out of YOU.

The Run-Down: Somehow I forgot to write this part of the post, and I didn’t notice for like a month. So forgive me please! If I recall correctly, this was basically a completely bonkers, brokenly-easy run that resulted in almost complete unkillability thanks to continuously getting healed by the ranged burny robots. The only thing that made it even vaguely hard was that the robots kept getting killed by my auto-nuke, but not before they healed me all the way up first, so who cares? XD

Point is: farm City of Steam with Phoenix. Almost anything else you do is just superfluous. That’s how stupid powerful Phoenix is in CoS. Seriously.