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.)