Maze: Ancient Arena
Purpose: To get the God of War costume for Spartan, and farm some audiences along the way because why not?
Mainball: Spartan — Can’t get the Ares suit without him!
Soul Link 1: Zorro — Spartan+Zorro = easy-peasy farming Arena audiences all the way down. Seriously, you don’t even need High Priest’s Skill; he’s only here for transcribing high-level spells on the way down. Two Z-Swords will kill the Audience every step of the way, and refresh itself entirely off of the deaths it causes, too.
Soul Link 2: High Priest — Because while dual Z-swords work wonders on the Arena audience, they don’t keep up well with floor mobs without significant help. High Priest gives you all manner of high-level spells to help you through those last 15 floors.
Melee Title: Duke of Destruction — With GEKb and Z-sword doing work killing ranged mobs up front and the Belt of Destruction maxxed out, you stand a really good chance of triggering a BoR off of the ranged-mob kill and thus finishing off the rest of the floor without taking any damage.
Magic Title: Legendary Mage — For more Ruination, and also it’s the only way to get debuffs to last a vital 3rd round vs the Boss’ annoying duration-halving ability.
Venture Title: Great Elf King (bow) — GEKb often gets overlooked in favor of Legendary Hunter, but the instakill of the first exposed foe is a huge benefit to anyone running Duke of Destruction, in addition to greatly reducing the risk of death by 3x ranged unit on F90+.
Artifact: Belt of Duke of Destruction — Boosting your BoR trigger percentage from 20 to 35 is massive, effectively guaranteeing that if it triggers once, the rest of the floor is yours.
Potion: Vampire Hunter’s Potion — Because the build is mostly Attack focused, but does use Power extensively later on.
The Rundown: I one-starred my way up to Duke, and took all six +trigger stars before I did anything else. Then I took 3* Magic Apprentice, the other two stars of Novice Warrior, and 3* of Treasure Seeker. After that, it was time to one-star from Wizard to Legendary Mage and take all three +round stars; then I one-starred from Explorer to GEKb.
After that, I went through and took every point of Attack I could get, because I had obtained the Book of Five Rings from killing Musashi in the Arena. Around F73ish, I finished that goal and used the Book to get my Attack up over 200 (~550 w/BoR). Then I did the same thing seeking out every point of Power.
Floor strategy was pretty basic: If there are 2+ ranged enemies and they’re more than a few taps away, Z-sword immediately to kill them. If not, kill the ranged enemies efficiently, uncover as many mobs as possible, Z-sword, kill the rest by hand. Z-sword costs 40 Energy, and with Spartan, every kill gives you 8 — which means (because the floors have 5 enemies minimum), you can Z-sword once per floor with confidence.
Around F70, cast Bless before activating Z-Sword. Around F86, cast Blade of Ruin before activating Z-sword.
I also cleared every single subfloor with Z-sword as well.
High Priest is the only way currently in the game to get 2 PoEs without using Planar Prophet. I used them for 26 floors each, not because I really needed to, but because I could. 😀 After all, every floor is a random spell and a random stat boost, so unless you’re speedrunning, why not?
Due to that backtravel, I had literally 23 Armageddons at the start of F85, and I made it through those last 10 floors by throwing 2 Armageddons at every floor. It was a stroke of odd luck — I only had 2-5 of every other 5th level spell — but I wasn’t about to argue. If the God of War wants the End Times to be Right the F*ck Now, I’m all in. 🙂
Arena strategy: Optionally, cast Electrostatic Field. Always, Activate Great Prophecy. If you’re on F75+, and Great Prophecy didn’t give you BoR, cast BoR. Z-sword twice. If needed for defense, cast Icicle/Timestill. If you didn’t cast BoR, cast Bless. Punch face until it dies.
Boss strategy unfortunately varies wildly depending on what spells High Priest gives you. You do have to be pretty familiar with all your spell-based options and how to deal with the Boss’ lack of timer and unique debuff-shortening trick. Always start with Great Prophecy, and adapt from there — often, you’ll end up with Aurora Barrier, Blade of Ruin, or Holy Rebirth (which you should totally use up all the time, because High Priest will give you more both through Great Prophecy and just normally — don’t be afraid to let the boss kill you and come back at half life to finish him). Figuring out how to maximize the advantages of your Great Prophecy is the key to easy boss battles.
Having boatloads of Blades of Ruin, Implosion, and especially Timestill to throw around is grand.
I don’t often take well-known power combos, because to me half the fun of the game is coming up with exotic ways to meet challenging goals — but sometimes, it really is fun to just blast straight through a run that’s usually a struggle, and this was that time. 🙂