Giving All those Machines a Big Middle Finger (Spacecraft Ruins DP w/Goblin-Condo-Machinist)

Maze: Starcraft Ruins

Purpose: Collect a Vulture Chariot, complete an Order for Arrest, and use an All Purpose Tool. And might as well farm some Bloody Wolf while we’re at it.

Mainball: Goblin — Goblin main deals 60% more damage to Machines with his Wrench. In this case, his explodey robots are the secondary factor: I just want to hurt Machines as badly as possible.

Soul-Link 1: Condotierre — As I’ve mentioned before, Condo is a baller in Spacecraft Ruins, doubly so if you have Farplane Ranger (lantern), doubly so again if you max out Electrostatic Armor. Nothing quite like killing the F40 boss with one shot of Sarah Jane, or dual-wielding Colt 1911s for 1200 damage per shot.

Soul-Link 2: Machinist — Nuke Missiles deal 1200 points of damage vs. lifeless enemies when wielded by Condo w/Electrostatic Armor. And they light it on fire. 480-damage Burst Rockets do a pretty good job of clearing out Waste Closets for quite a ways down as well.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger — As discussed, this is a necessity for lighting the world up with Condotierre.

Magic Title: Light Bishop (Water) — While we can count on dealing a lot of damage to the Boss with items (since they don’t trigger his Physical or Magical resistances), we do still have to stay alive long enough to ping him down with several-to-dozens of hits. Water Master to ensure plenty of Icicles and the excellent healing potential of Light Bishop guarantee that much. Furthermore, Oracle and Light Bishop are the only Magic titles that add to your attack, which will be valuable because we’re also taking…

Melee Title: Sword Sage — All that item abuse can only get you so far on it’s own; we need some sort of rock-solid plan for how to take the machines down when we’re waiting for the next reload station to drop. That plan is Sword Sage, because it will drop enemies’ Physical Resist while giving us a big ol’ Attack to punch faces with. Later on, should the run last that long, it will also negate a chunk of the Boss’ Dodge, which is good.

Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — Because we’re taking Goblin main for the Wrench, but we want to reach Farplane Ranger ASAP.

Potion: Potion of Great Designer (or Engineer) — Same reason: I can’t afford to miss out on any corpses. In the end, this was probably overkill and I probably would have been better off taking something like Vampire Hunter’s Potion or Alloy Coating, or even Nightmare Potion for a chunk of EP and a point of Power. But whatevs. 🙂

The Rundown: Title-wise, I of course rushed straight to Farplane Ranger, then went back to fill in Evil Bandit for more EP-savings. Then I finished Treasure Seeker, Novice Warrior, and Magic Apprentice in that order, always keeping a buffer of ~600 EP to buy gears should a gear shop pop up.

After that, it was a rush to max out Oracle and then max out the Attack stars of Light Paladin, then I went methodically star-by-star all the way up to 3* Sword Dancer. Then I went back and took the Attack stars from Farplane Ranger and the last two stars of Night Walker, all so that when I finally took Sword Sage, I maximized the bonus it granted. Oh, I also equipped my level 7 Power Hammer first, too.

Speaking of which, I saved all my Cogs until I got Exoskeleton Armor on F55 (naturally, I had to get it last!), then poured them all in until it was maximized, because Condo, bitches. Then I kind of idly slapped Cogs onto Power Hammer whenever I felt like it.

Through about F50, it was just easy sailing. Reveal an enemy, if it’s a crab-lookin’ dude that gains attack when there’s more of them around, kill it, if not, keep revealing enemies. That allows you to maximize Exploding Bastard’s attack loss to watching other enemies die and Rebuilding Arm Thing’s rebuilding (thus Cog farming) without too much excess suffering. Pop Goblin’s Factory whenever it’s available, shoot things in the face with guns whenever you have spare bullets and an Attack-boosting Combat Pad, recover ammo frequently.

I literally didn’t even bother using any of the special codes except the Repeating Shotgun code. I wanted the ammo recovery boxes, dammit. With a 7-shot Repeating Shotgun, a 7-shot Colt 1911, a 3-shot Flamethrower, a 3-shot Shoulder Bazooka, and a 12-shot Grenade Launcher, it was almost impossible to run out of ammo.

F30 boss died to a single shot from a Colt 1911.

F40 boss died to a single shot from Sarah Jane.

F50 boss died to a shot from Sarah Jane plus a shot from a Repeating Shotgun.

After F50, I learned a valuable lesson: don’t use Goblin Factory on the bottom half of Spacecraft Ruins. The explody-bots Goblin Factory makes have a tendency to set off the explody-bots that are native to the Ruins, and you can end up taking hundreds of damage to the face without having time to do jack sh*t about it. I died, but I’d snagged a Holy Rebirth by then, so I muttered “lesson learned” and pushed on.

By now, I had done everything on my list and was just cannoning forward looking for Bloody Wolf, because why not. I had to get careful; even with all the gunnery, the Assault bots and the Explody bots were still whittling me down. Fortunately, the Maze’s Medical Packs (Oh, I did eventually use the code that gives you three of those) do a passable job of keeping up.

I probably should have leveled up Riot Shield instead of Power Hammer to reduce explosion damage, in retrospect. That would have allowed me to Goblin Factory much more freely and probably would have been more useful in the long run.

F60 boss died to two shots from a Colt 1911 and a shot from Sarah Jane, now empowered with Exoskeleton Armor.

Ultimately, I found Bloody Wolf on F68. By then, I was kind of running out of healing spells, and I’d used up one Colt 1911, the Grenade Launcher, the Flame Thrower, and the Shoulder Bazooka entirely. I was really glad I didn’t have to fight the F70 boss after taking down Bloody Wolf with a long series of Icicles, explody Goblin-bots, and 6 shots from a Cold 1911. (BTW, when farming Bloody Wolf, don’t forget to bring Cogs with you. Really good idea, that. 😀 )

In the end, perhaps ironically, Machinist was almost useless. The guns more than kept up damage-wise, and I rarely used his bombs and Cogs. If I had to do this run again, I would totally take Goblin main and link Condo, but I’d take Zerg Queen linked instead to add enough oomph to take out the F70 and F80 bosses. Nevertheless, the weird un-synergy of Goblin+Condo basically took the first 2/3rds of Spacecraft Ruins by storm, and it was damn fun doing it, and I’mma do it again but with Zerggy and a Nightmare Potion right now.  🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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.

The Fastest (and Funnest) Way to Speedfarm Kraken Captain

Maze: Pirate’s Seaport

Purpose: Farm Kraken Captain

Main: Spartan — It’s him or Monkey King, and fully feeding Spartan is easier to justify.

Soul-Link 1: Monkey King — No Venture (alternately, Magic, see below) title isn’t a problem when Spartan + Monkey King literally wipes out every other floor basically all the way down.

Soul Link 2: High Priest (alternately Guardian) — With Spartan in play, High Priest gets enough mojo to go off once in between each boss as well as on top of each boss, making this an even faster blitz. If you don’t have High Priest, Guardian is a good substitute as with Spartan, the Shield Throw does crazy damage and stuns long enough to obliterate 2 boss attacks, which is gold.

Melee Title: Sword Sage — Yup. You don’t care about anything except keeping your Attack high enough that Monkey King keeps clearing the floors every time you hit that button.

Magic Title: Oracle –> Light Master –> Light Bishop — Really, you don’t care that much about what exact magic you end up with, but Oracle gives more Attack points, and healing isn’t a bad gig when your offense comes mostly through your active abilities, so this will do.

(Alternately Venture Title: Great Enchanter (Crucible) — doing basically 50% more damage to every face you punch makes for faster floor- and boss-kills, so…that’s good.)

Artifact: Gloves of Dark Arbiter — Punch faces. (If Guardian, take Cape or Necklace of Facepunching instead, for reasons seen below.)

Potion: Vampire Hunter’s Potion — Punch. Faces. And let’s give High Priest a small nod, here, too, as he does in fact need a little Power to get the job done.

The Rundown: Save your EP. Seriously, you don’t even need it. Save up like 2.5k just for giggles, and buy the Demon Suit or the Wizard Suit if it pops up in one of those sweet here’s-an-entire-suit shops. That’ll give High Priest everything he needs. (If Guardian, buy Dragon or Oracle Suit instead. This is the reasons mentioned above.)

Once you have your suit, spend EP maxing out your Attack until it won’t max anymore, then do whatever. This maze gives you a stupid amount of the stuff, so just have fun. 🙂

If you don’t get Davy Jones’ Treasure at 60, you can s/l 30 for it, or go to 70, but don’t waste time going further than that. s/l30 till you get it, then pop it, don’t feed it a damn thingand let it kill itself over the next few floors. Job done!

The Safest Way to Speedfarm Predator

Maze: Lost Temple

Purpose: Max out Predator w/cert for Fane purposes.

Mainball: Predator — I don’t want to s/l 30 a bunch whenever I lose a coinflip. Alien Helmet works whether you bring it in or find it, so this is 100% vital.

Soul Link 1: White Chess Bishop — When Vampire won’t suck, White Chess Bishop rises up to blow! …the enemies attempts at killing you out of the water.

Soul Link 2: Checkers — Predator is great at facepunching through floors, and White Bishop keeps him alive to do it, but you need a solid boss-killing tool that can get you through F80 or so in case your luck sucks. Checkers is that tool.

Melee Title: Silver Knight –> Heavy Armor Knight –> Light Paladin — You don’t care if you have to punch faces twice as often, because Bishop thrives on face punching. This makes high HP significantly better for your survival than high Attack.

Magic Title: Oracle –> Water Master –> Light Bishop — because Oracle gives more Attack, and Water Master and Light Bishop both make White Chess Bishop amazing-er.

Venture Title: Who Cares?  Never had time to get a Venture title. Probably if I did, I’d go for Great Enchanter (crucible) for the added facepunching ability.

Artifact: Armor of Light Paladin — More with the facepunching, and some Defense is clutch for taking full advantage of Bishop’s healing.

Potion: Cactus Juice — Just in case you run into a long enough string of Earth Elementals that it might suck.

The Rundown: Seriously, you just speedtap everything to death. You don’t even have to worry about Earth Elementals. Just tap tap tap tap your way to the boss, drop 3-4 Checkers Dudes, tap tap tap the boss to death, repeat. If you find it, save your PoE so that if you reach F74 or so you can jump back to F51 for more easy chances to stumble upon Predator. Keep your Alien Helmet on at all times.

Use the Altars to snag +100 EP as often as possible, and whatever else you like as you go. Fill Magic Apprentice, then fill up your Melee titles from the ground up, pausing and saving 500 EP for a free heal by taking Light Paladin when desirable. Then take one star of Oracle, max out Water Master, take Light Bishop and all three stars of +Power.

From there, you can do whatever you want, because you’re going to survive long enough to get your fragments. You can whip out this run in half an hour on average, an hour if you get mad unlucky and have to go deep despite a PoE.

Good luck!

Wife’s Run: Maxing the Magic Vine and More w/ some Highly Unexpected Synergy

Maze: Forest of Whispers

Purpose: Hit the ‘magic vine to level 50’ DP quest, and the ‘get the frozen mushroom to level 5′ quest.’ As it happened, she was also able to get ‘Max out Planar Prophet’ and ‘Go backwards 45 floors in a single PoE’ on the same run. That last one is where the excitement came from, actually.

Mainball: Tarot — Because no single gumball can get you out of more scrapes than Tarot. Also, Venture-main for Farplane Ranger for to get Jack’s Soul for to reduce the total Seed cost of the vine quest.

Soul Link 1: Saladin — This guy can trade useless spells for stats — and there are a lot of useless spells. What’s not to love? There’s even a tiny bit of synergy with Tarot’s “gimme a random spell” card!

Soul Link 2: Lionheart King — She wanted Planar Prophet early, but she had a Venture title main, so Lionheart King was the key to her entire strategy.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger — Nailing Jack’s Soul on F1 makes the level 50 quest a huge 50 seeds shorter.

Magic Title: Planar Prophet — She didn’t want to go deep, she wanted easy seeds, so multiple and early trips backward were on the menu.

Melee Title: Novice Warrior — Didn’t care, she finished her quests rather than pursue a melee title. 🙂

Artifact: Hell God of War’s Ring — Because some amount of punching people in the face was vital.

Potion: Nightmare Potion — She needed the 300 EP to get Farplane on F1 so she could get Jack’s Soul, and the extra point of Power was useful.

The Rundown: Was pretty straightforward for most of it. She punched things in the face until F40 or so, then mixed in some spells when the opportunity presented itself (like Dark Ripple in caves, etc.) and as her Power rose as she traveled down the path to max Planar Prophet.

When she hit F49, she decided she didn’t want to deal with another Boss, having found the Sunflower Seed on F40. So, she hit the PoE button, went back 28 floors, and kept going down. When she hit F49 for the second time, she had maxed out Planar Prophet and most of her other potential sources of Power.

That’s when she noticed that her PoE was going to take her back 44 floors. Forty-four. ONE SHY of getting a valuable XP quest (she was like 24 points away from getting Tarot up to 5* at this point, so every single point counted.) But she had already spent all her EP on Titles that provided her with extra Power. She had no EP, no better-Power equipment, heck, no other equipment she was willing to Disenchant, and she had already cast Electrostatic Field.

But she was determined to find a way to eke out that last floor. She pored over her items, her skills, her spells, her Gumballs, her Titles — everything she could find. And finally, she looked up at me with that gleam in her eye that told she had found it.

“I have ten Aurora Barriers,” she smugged.

“Umm…and?”

“And why do I have ten Aurora Barriers?”

“Because you have Sala–oh!” Understanding was slow for me, but it hit.

“Because I have Saladin! Which means I have two Aurora Barriers…and 2,400 XP. Which means I can take all three Power stars of Farplane Ranger. Which means I’m nailing that damn Quest!

And she did. Without Lionheart King, she wouldn’t have had the EP to max out Planar Prophet in time. Without Tarot’s +25% to spell effects card, she wouldn’t have hit 45 floors. And without Saladin, she wouldn’t have had the Power she needed to break the barrier, either. Those three gumballs appear, at first glance, to be almost entirely without any internal synergy — but this is Gumballs and Dungeons, and nothing in the game is ever as simplistic as it appears.

Let’s Playtest Phoenix (and Earth Elemental’s Talent) to F100!

Maze: Saint’s Tower

Purpose: To see just how sweet Phoenix can be when given optimal conditions (i.e. +50 Power from Angmar’s Curse.) Also, to see what it looks like when Earth Elemental’s talent combines the Earth Set into an Earth Orb. Also, to collect an Earth Set and a Water Set for the Honor Quests.

Mainball: Phoenix — Because seriously, a gumball that plays Legendary Archer all by his lonesome deserves to be in the front of the back. (OK, really I just wanted the high power.)

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Phoenix’ main trait is that every 8 turns, he deals .6*Power to all visible enemies. Despite being called Eternal Fire, it’s not buffed by effects that buff Fire. Or anything else. Even Electrostatic Field. Nope. Just .6*base Power. But it’s more than enough.

Link1: Future Cat — Almost mandatory for playing Phoenix, so that you can use the Hidden Cloak to quickly reveal all enemies so they all get nuked every 8 turns. All the other fun, ridiculous stuff that comes with him is just a bonus. 😀

Link2: Merchant — Yup, no Melee titles this run. It’s more important for me to get lots of chances at equipment so I can fill out those sets.

Magic Title: Dark Priest — Because with Phoenix burning through the floors, I’m going to want a strong tool to take down the lower-floor Bosses…and 3 free Implosions with +75% effect and +60% effect and a 50% chance at 200% damage sounds like my kind of math.

Venture Title: Great Swordsman (crucible) — Because I know Phoenix is going to stop keeping up at some point, and I might need to go a few floors deeper. Every Swordsman’s Rune is 1 floor with no counterattacks, so bingo. Also, the standard-issue 15% counterattack reduction stacks with Crystal Dress and Crystal Shoes to great effect.

Artifact: Belt of Time Lord — Because it’s the only slot that isn’t taken up by either the Dark Suit, the Water Suit, or the Dimension Bag/Phoenix Feathers.

Potion: Hell Crimson Reagent — Because I thought it might buff Eternal Flame. Oh, well.

The Playtest: Made it to F101 after a Limited Broom, a time Machine, and a 31-floor PoE, for a total of 177 floors traveled. Who says you need all three Title types to go deep? 😀 I didn’t max out until about F70 (after all three of the above go-backs, so effectively F146). But I did spend about seven sh!tloads of EP on gear, mostly Magic Toffees, Magic Brooms, and upgrading bits of the Water and Earth suits.

The Phoenix power itself reached the limit of its usefulness somewhere around F70, too. It does an amazing job of allowing you to clear floor after floor after floor with minimal expenditure of resources for those first 60 floors, and after that it can get enemies significantly damaged (but not kill them) for another 10. Past F70, it’s best to play as though you don’t have the ability and just enjoy it when it happens to go off usefully. I imagine that if you built around Fighter stats, it would probably peter out around F50.

However, this was Saint’s Tower, so the Phoenix Power not keeping up just meant it was time to switch tactics. First, I ran through the several Blades of Ruin that you get from running Phoenix main (one per 20 floors, and I had arranged my go-backs so that I always landed on Fx9 so I could get another BoR upon going down one floor). Then I just went all-in and used my level 50+ X Roars to nuke everything, popping the occasional Magic Toffee so I could keep doing it.

I finished the Earth Elemental set around F65 (the first time past it; I went past once more later). Turns out that when Earth Elemental turns the Earth Suit into the Earth Orb, it becomes an Accessory item that gives:

  • +8 Attack and +8 Power,
  • A 40% boost to all Earth spells,
  • A free random Earth scroll every floor (not PoE, sorry), and
  • Access to the spell Earth Elemental Ball, which costs 10 mana, uses no scroll, and does damage equal to your Power to one target.

As a side benefit, once it’s fused, you can put on a second copy of any Earth Suit item (except Thorn Orb, natch), and the 40% bonus from the Earth Orb stacks with the 25% bonus from that item. Good times.

I would’ve quit way earlier in the maze, but I got punk’d by RNG: I was able to easily gather every piece of the Water suit…except the FIRST ONE. I went the whole run without seeing a Water Spirit’s Cape, and I kept pushing on only because I really wanted to see what the difference between a 2* (water) and 3* (earth) Fused Orb would be.

Alas, F101 saw me locked into a corner with a No-Spells Ward up that I had no Light Crystal to break, and I had used up all of my Swordsmans Runes getting from F91 to F99. Sigh. Next time, Water Suit. Next time…

Builds I Want to Try and Why, Part I

Duelist (Sword Sage) main, Alchemist (Earth Master–Legendary Mage)/Blacksmith (Holy Blacksmith) linked. Flag of Sword Sage; Vampire Hunter’s Potion.

I really want to find a build that makes Duelist shine without using pets. This build is made to allow easy access to the Warrior’s Willpower set (Duelist’s Belt + Duelist’s Gloves), giving +5 Defense and +10% melee damage, through Holy Blacksmith. Dimension Boots also play very nicely with Duelist’s Wrath Burst, stacking up to 50% Dodge.

Sword Sage might be broke AF when played with Saladin+Nobunaga+Crusader, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only team that can take advantage of it. Blacksmith’s Attack buff is a state-based buff like Crusaders; it’ll count toward the Sword Sage boost. Moreover, the stars from Flag of Sword Sage give a % to double damage that stacks with the 5% from Duelist’s Belt, for a total of 20% crit chance. (If I really wanted to be stupid, I’d take Athena’s Tears for my potion and stack that 20% with the 50% from the Key of War. 🙂

Earth Master into Legendary Mage is primarily there to get long-lasting Stoneskins to survive Boss levels, and Disrupting Rays for massive damage facepunching.

 

Lionheart King (Light Paladin) main, Tarot (Holy Rune Master)/Starmoon Scholar (Light Bishop) linked. Armor of Light Bishop; Mixture of Light and Dark.

Basically, I want to see if it’s possible to tap into the full power of Lionheart King’s True Cross without having Apollo along for the ride. This build can create 3 Holy Rebirths with the Armor of Light Bishop, so if you get say 3 more from the Maze, you need only 8 of your default 18 Magic Runes to create the 4 remaining that you need to max out the Cross. Of course, you’ll almost certainly use the other 10 to create the Fists of the Heavens you’ll need, because you have to cast 10 of them and then use 8 more to craft Holy Rebirths.

Yeah, it’s probably still not going to happen — but it’d be damn fun to try. Oh, and Tarot’s occasional free scrolls offer a slim but present chance of getting more high-level Light scrolls along the way as well. Maybe a bit of s/l 30ing somewhere to try to land a Book of Light, and it’s at least conceivable. 😀

 

Skeleton Lord (Duke of Destruction) main, Gumiho (Legendary Mage)/Vampire Hunter (Great Swordsmith) linked. Duke of Destruction’s Belt; Hell Crimson Potion.

This one should be obvious. 😀 I just want to try it at some point to see how sillybroke it really is.

 

 

Let’s Playtest Merman!

Maze: Ancient Arena

Purpose: To playtest Merman at length, and farm some arena audiences along the way.

Main Gumball: Tarot — Because he’s my go-to when I don’t know what else to stick in the Venture slot. Also, I wanted Mage stats as my main, and Ghost Capitan was too expensive to feed up just for a playtest. :p

Soul-link 1: Merman — Which is the point, after all. What can this guy do for me?

Soul-link 2: Ghost Capitan — Because seriously, you’re not going to dink around ‘playtesting’ some Water-mage-ball without bringing the real water mage along for the ride.

Venture Title: Great Enchanter (crucible) — To make our iffy Attack useful a little further into the dungeon.

Melee Title: Duke of Destruction — Same as above, but this time with some counterattack-avoidance built in.

Magic Title: Legendary Mage — To synergize with both Merman’s custom spell Water Mist, and Duke of Destruction.

Artifact: Necklace of Legendary Mage — Because I didn’t realize that Merman brings a custom necklace with him even soul-linked.

Potion: Hell Crimson Reagent — Power is good, and Fire spell means Blade of Ruin. Sure, why not?

The Playtest — With Legendary Mage, Water Mist lasts 6 rounds instead of 3. With Ghost Capitan, Water Mist deals (Power*.525) damage per round. All while reducing enemy Attack and Accuracy by 40% and restoring 5% of your own HP per round. And it comes from a spell that everyone reasonably expects to have hanging around in the double digits all the damn time.

It’s actually surprisingly good at killing the audiences in the Arena — until you run out of actions you can take. Since it counts as a buff and is overwritten by any other buff, the typical strategy of ‘cast two dozen Blesses’ doesn’t work. And there are vanishingly few spells you can cast with no legitimate target if buffs are off the table.

I was able to harvest 100% of the non-named-Gumball audience members from F5 to F75. I only left named gumballs behind on F65 and F75, too.

Water Mist does make a staggeringly good opener on a lower-level floor where what you want is to activate Duke of Destruction without dying in the process. Reducing enemy Attack and Accuracy by 40% is just what the doctor ordered to get some free deaths on the table to kickstart counterattack immunity.

I thought I might even have a chance at nabbing some Spartan fragments for my trouble — but while this build can dance through floors all day long, it has some trouble with Bosses, and the F80 boss took me down despite my massive Icicles drilling holes in his brainpan while my Water Mist kept up a constant minor tick of life swing in my direction.

Ultimately, the Merman has a second fatal flaw: giving up Cure for a spell that does so much more than restore HP means you use the spell up doing things that aren’t restoring HP, which means your supply of spells that can bring you back from the brink of death is a lot lower than you think. Even with Tarot’s healing and defensive abilities, every floor past 69 was an optimization exercise in how to best conserve HP so the 30% heal I’d get from the one Water Mist I cast would keep me out of harm’s reach.