Killin’ It with Fire: The Trogdor Build

Maze: Dracula’s Castle

Purpose: Get the last 18 Vampire Hunter fragments I need for my one Vampire Hunter pearl that I need to grow the Sunflower statue.

Mainball: Red Dragon — Because consummate Vs.  Look it up. Seriously, though, it’s because only Red Dragon gives you an item that drops free Meteor Showers in your lap, comes with the stats to use it well and the Melee title you want to build quickly to Hell God of War and the Exclusive Skill that makes it safe(r) to melee things repeatedly while hoping for your Meteor Shower proc. That’s a LOT of Vs!

Linkball 1: White Chess Bishop — Red Dragon makes it safe(r), but only with the help of White Chess Bishop can facepunching be genuinely safe.

Linkball 2: Sculptor — Because of the way that Meteor Shower scales, it grows bigger than any other spell if you gain a crapload of bonuses to it. 10x Thinker is a crapload of bonuses to it.

Melee Title: Magic Warrior –> Dragon Warrior –> Hell God of War — Why cast when you can proc?

Magic Title: Lord of Elements (Fire) — Did I mention the goal of lots of bonus damage?

Venture Title: None — Seriously, you’re dumping 5000 EP into sculpting 10 Thinkers and you expect to have a Venture Title? What do you think you are, Ranger’s Song?

Artifact: Ring of Hell God of War — You might consider taking Gloves of Lord of Elements, except you wouldn’t because this is Dracula’s Castle and obtaining the Hunter’s Long Whip means an extra 5% chance to Meteor Shower. It’s not much alone, but stacked on top of the 20% from Hell God of War, it’s a very meaningful improvement and you want that. So, the Ring it is.

Potion: Lich’s Enhancement Potion — Because why wouldn’t you? (If you don’t have it, go for Vampire Hunter’s Potion instead.)

Other Equipment: As mentioned, the Hunter’s Long Whip is an important part of the build. For the Relics, you’re going to want to take Eternal Cup (and max out it’s normal Blood first), Vampire Hunter’s Cloak (because that’s why we’re here), and Confinement Cage (all that backtravel helps a lot in terms of getting the EP and spare floors needed to build all your Thinkers).

The Rundown: One-star your way straight to Hell God of War, then max out your Meteor Shower trigger%. Go back and fill in Novice Warrior, then take all three stars of Magic Apprentice. One-star your way to Lord of Elements, then drop back and max out Fire Master, then Wizard, then Black Mage. At this point, start dropping 100 EP into a Thinker on every floor, and slowly fill in your Warrior, Magic Warrior, and Dragon Warrior titles as EP allows.

Floor strategy is to reveal as many enemies as possible, but stopping to hatekill Werewolves on sight. Once everything possible is revealed, kill the summoning Liches first, then hit each Blood Slave once, then attack everything in order from lowest Attack to highest. That will give you the best chance of killing the most dangerous enemies with your proc.

Boss strategy is to pop Electrostatic Field and Disrupting Ray, hit him with 6 Meteor Showers (taking a hit along the way), and then if he’s still alive, hitting him with Icicle and starting over. Yup. 🙂

That’s really all there is to it. This strategy works almost as well outside of Dracula’s Castle, too — it’s really only the Hunter’s Long Whip that makes a significant difference, and even that isn’t really all that significant. The Trogdor build is courtesy of…damn…someone on Facebook. I tried to find the post where I saw it, and I can’t. So if it happens to be you, comment so I can give you credit, awesome G&D guy! 😀

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Let’s Find a Reason to Love Cyborg…How About Farming Sunflower?

Maze: Forest of Whispers

Purpose: Getting my Sunflower Statue built, which means farming about 200 Sunflower Fragments. Also, I’ve been challenging myself lately to find a use for some of the gumballs that I hate. And I hate the hell out of some Cyborg…so let’s use him!

Mainball: Cyborg — There are a few different elements to Cyborg. Most obviously, he gets +10% Attack and Power and 5% damage reduction for 10 rounds after he’s been Poisoned. (Oh, and you’re immune to Poison.) But more subtly, when taken as Main, Cyborg gets a Hand item that goes from +1 Power/+10 MP to +5 Power/+50 MP/+5% Spell Effects by getting Poisoned a lot. (Also, he gets a potion that gives him 20 EP and Poisons him every 10 floors, which is…mustbepositivemustbepositive…is something that arrives just in time to be used on each Boss for that bonus to Attack and Power. Yay!…I guess.

Linkball 1: Gangster — Cyborg and Gangster have a very not-obvious but a quite strong synergy: they are the only two balls in Canas Enlightenment that provide a decent amount of bonus EP. In my experience, Cyborg is worth about 30 bonus EP per floor in the land of many spiders (less if you have a high Dodge or counterattack-reduction), and Gangster is worth about 70 EP per floor assuming you disenchant everything you steal that isn’t immediately useful.

More than that, though, Gangster allows you to steal from the Maze’s special shops, which means free Seeds of Black Thorn. But wait, there’s even more! If you manage to score Gangster’s special “six star steal” on one of the special shops, you get access to a two-item set — Bucket and Ragged Suit — that give you +15% damage reduction, +20% damage vs. plants, +50 HP, and -5% Dodge (which, again, is good in letting you get counterattacked by Spiders more often). Reducing boss damage by 20% (15% from the Bucket and 5% from your “I just got poisoned” buff) is a big deal, so it’s worth pursuing.

Linkball 2: Mage or Magic Boy — Mage if you’re worried that the run will need to go long, Magic Boy if you’re willing to s/l 30 a few times at F60 if the Sunflower Seed hasn’t shown up by then. Either way the idea here is to make sure that the auto-nukes you’ll be proccing everywhere are relevant and stay that way. Mage by critting lots, and Magic Boy by making it easy to use all that bonus EP to level up your Magic use.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger (lantern) — You want that Magic Bandit set, but first, you really want to get Farplane Ranger so that the moment you encounter the Evil Queen’s corpse, you will do double damage to everything you punch from that point forward. Then get the rest of the Bandit set.

Melee Title: Knight of Faith –> Titan Knight — With the Boots of Titanosaur equipped (at +6), you can dump ~5500 EP into six stars’ worth of “trigger more Earth Spike,” with the end result of getting an Earth Spike to trigger on 35% of all your attacks. That’s pure gold!

Magic Title: Earth Master (ok, fine Legendary Mage (Earth)) — You’ll probably get your Sunflower fragments before you need to take Legendary Mage, but it’s there for you just in case.

Artifact: Boots of Titanosaur — Raising the proc rate on Earth Spike from 20% to 35% is huge, and while the Dodge buff is slightly counter-synergetic with Toxin Transfer, it’s acceptable.

Potion: Plant Potion — Because you don’t really need a potion, and 10 seeds is good, and you already have dozens of them from popping sheep on the world map.

The Rundown: As mentioned above, start by one-starring your way to Farplane Ranger to get the Evil Queen’s Soul, then back out to finish Magic Bandit. After you have that, one-star your way all the way up to Titan Knight, and take all six stars that give +trigger%. Once you have 35% chance to trigger Earth Spike, go up the Magic ladder, with three stars of Magic Apprentice, then one star each of Black Mage, Conjurer, and all three stars of Earth Master. Then go back and take all three stars of +effect to Earth Spike. After that, it’s all you — I never had to go much farther before finishing up Sunflower. (One time, when I had to go do F70 because I didn’t want to s/l30, I took two stars of Farplane Ranger so that I could kill the boss’ mushrooms with Nether Wicks.)

In terms of strategy, the idea is to get Sunflower at F60 at the latest (you can get it from any boss), then as soon as you have both Sunflower and a PoE, use the PoE — there’s no reason to go deeper than you have to when collecting seeds. Use Blackmail on every shop, and disenchant absolutely everything you steal unless it’s immediately useful. You want the EP.

The floor tactics are fairly complex, because you want to maximize your Toxin Transfers. So reveal enemies, and if they’re NOT a Spider, Wallnut, or the first Lizard, kill them immediately. Ideally, you’ll be able to set up a situation where you get 1+ Spiders, 1+Wallnuts, and 1 Lizard. Then, you basically attack the Spider as many times as possible to get as many Toxin Transfers out of it as you can.

The Boss is fun! Killing one of his precious little mushroom sidekicks gives you Toxin Transfer, so +10% Attack and Power and +5% damage reduction. Plus, there’s a decent chance that you’ll trigger Earth Spike and hurt the Boss and two other mushrooms. Then you can take out the mushroom in the opposite corner, and if you get lucky with a second Earth Spike, they’ll all be dead.

Generally speaking, I killed the Bosses primarily with punching, which means I focused on taking out the left two Mushrooms first. Then a Gravity to deal some solid damage and keep him from counterattacking, then punch face for a while, maybe hitting a Stoneskin if he was going to successfully attack me a second time.

I’ve taken this run a few times now, and I’m actually looking forward to the Ghost Captain statue because I’ll have an excuse to take Cyborg into Pirate Island. (Thanks for the idea, Frank G.!) Here’s hoping I can find something totally different and still totally awesome to do with Cyborg there. 🙂

Wife’s Run: Speedfarming Prince…with Sage!

Maze: Saint’s Tower

Purpose: Getting Prince (because she hadn’t been arsed to before)/Farming Prince

Mainball: Panda — Because who doesn’t love Panda? He’s like Swordsman, but cuter. Also, there’s no better Maze for main Panda than Saint’s Tower, because once you hit F29 and give Master Turtle some wine, you can take out any floor mob for a number of MP equal to the floor you’re on — and there’s no better way to regain MP than Magic Toffee. Oh, and the other two Panda Wines have a crucial role to play in this as well. 🙂

Soul Link 1: Sage — Sage completely freaking ignores the Dark Ward produced by the floor pillars. So you don’t need to waste any time or thought breaking the pillars, because punching faces works all the way down. Also, that big pool of extra MP makes Magic Toffee especially magical even though you’re not going to arse yourself with the big 500-MP-granting spell you could get by breaking pillars.

Soul Link 2: Tarot — Because as long as we’re ignoring the Wards, we should bring along someone who has useful magic-like effects that can be used to heal, defend, and otherwise do useful things on floors with an anti-magic Ward. Between Sage and Tarot, you literally don’t even need a single Ward broken (except occasionally on the boss) to get to and win Prince and/or his fragments.

Melee Title: Warrior (via Royal Knight) — Because HP are good, but epic boss facepunches are also good, since Tarot’s Tower can protect us from the nasty hits.

Venture Title: Treasure Seeker — Yep. That’s it. No time for anything else!

Magic Title: Magic Apprentice — Ditto. Get your spells active and dump all your EP into more Melee-title power.

Artifact: Helm of Fighter — Just to make sure you can spend all your EP on the thing that matters.

Potion: Master Designer/Engineer — To make sure you have the EP for Pumpkin Carriage by the time you need it.

The Rundown: Saint’s Tower is usually a slow grind, with lots of fiddling with Crystals and Wards and Special spells that take three-plus taps per mob to work. This team takes all that away and sets you up to tap tap tap all the way to F60 where you can s/l 30 until Prince shows up.

You do still have to save up your 2k EP to buy the Pumpkin Carriage, but other than that, you really don’t have to do much of anything except tap tap tap tap. Ignore Wards, tap everything, move forward quickly.

The Boss fights go facepunch twice, change ward, facepunch some more. For F50 and F60, start with Panda Wine to make sure you can clear the boss super-fast.

It’s really the quickest, most effective brainless Saint’s Tower run you can get. And all this after I spent a good half-hour ranting violently to her about how Sage sucks just about as bad as a gumball can suck and has no purpose anywhere for any reason.

Yeah, she’s smarter than me. But I got at least one over on her — I married up. 😀

 

A True Power Team Laughs at Spartan Farming

Maze: Ancient Arena

Purpose: Farm Spartan fragments, and test just how depth-crushingly sweet this team might be.

Mainball: Ripper — As main, has a 15% damage boost vs. humans. Also, gains significant stat boosts and a number of other cool tools on the way down.

Soul-Link 1: High Priest — There’s just no caster like him. High Priest is currently the only way in the game to get truly random scrolls every floor (as in, you get just as many 5th-level scrolls as 1st-level scrolls). All other “random scrolls” are weighted so that you get proportionately more low-level spells than high-level ones. Also, he gives you a random stat boost every floor, which will turn out to be very important.

Soul-Link 2: Monkey King — Obliterates every 3rd-ish floor all by his lonesome…which oddly is not why we’re taking him here. We’re taking him because, like High Priest, he also gives you a random stat boost every floor. Though the floor-wiping totally does help. 🙂

Venture Title: Great Enchanter (Anvil) — Because adding a full Mage set to our existing High Priest’s Spellbook means another free spell every floor. And if we can manage to get a Demon or Wizard’s set, it’s even a decently high-level spell, which is awesomeness squared.

Melee Title: Sword Sage — Just like with the bonzo stat-gains of the legendary Nobunaga/Saladin/Crusader combo, we want to jack ourselves up to absurdity right on the verge of inevitable demise, so that we can squeeze out another dozen or so floors if we’re careful.

Magic Title: Planar Prophet — Because our goal is to travel down as many floors as possible, to maximize the stat gain and the spell acquisition on every floor as we go.  

Artifact: Boots of Planar Prophet — Even though we’re hoping to eventually wear Wizard Boots instead, these will give us a solid early boost to Power and another +9 floors to our PoEs. Totally worth it.

Potion: Lich’s Enhancement Potion — Need Moar POWAA!

The Rundown: The whole way down, you want to buy every single one- and two-star treasure you see, and every piece of magic-suit gear that is better than the one you’re currently wearing.

Take one star of Magic Apprentice, Black Mage, Conjurer, Earth Master, and Planar Prophet. Then max out Black Mage, then Earth Master, then Planar Prophet, starting with Power and the Artifact stars, then HP, then MP. You should be able to do this pretty easily before you actually get deep enough to use all of the backtravel you’ll have access to. As soon as you get deep enough that an Electrostatic-Field-Empowered Portal of Earth will get you somewhere around F2-5, use it.

On your second run, focus on maxxing Blacksmith and Great Enchanter, and get your Wizard Suit progressed as far as possible. Then PoE again as soon as it’ll take you to F2-5 again.

As you run out of Quenching Essences to spend your EP on directly, shift to building up Melee, plodding star-by-star along the straight-line path to Sword Sage — but don’t take Sword Sage itself until after you’ve narrowly scraped by death a few times in a row, and taken at the minimum every single point of Attack that all of your Titles can give you. (If you happen to get ahold of the Dragon Titles, wait until they’re finished up, too!)

Generally speaking, you’ll run out of EP to spend around F70 after both PoEs (assuming you haven’t gotten the Noble, Hunter’s, or Forging suits — they’ll make it faster.) That’s OK, because even without any more titles to buy, every floor you’re traveling is still giving you 2 random bonus stats and 2 random (generally high-level) scrolls.

Use Monkey King whenever it’s at 90 or 100/100 points, and High Priest on every Boss and every floor ending in 5 just for fun. The other floors shouldn’t be too difficult at any point in time.

Bosses, you’ll have too many options for. Stick with whatever saves you the most Timestills for later on. You’ll want them. Also, you have Earth Master, so feel free to spam Gravity instead of Implosion up through Boss F70 or so. You’ll want the big guns later.

Once you do take Sword Sage, you’ll generally have the EP to take all of it. Go for it. 🙂

As an example of the absurdity of the spellgain, by the time I got to Spartan using this method, I had 9 Armageddons, 12 Aurora Barriers, 11 Timestills, 7 Holy Rebirths, and 3 Implosions. (Guess how I killed the F80 and F90 Bosses? It was Implosion.)

How deep can you go? I’m not the kind of person who enjoys that kind of gameplay, so I quit on F129 because I got Hamster and wanted to test him out — but I had a few thousand HP and MP, several hundred Attack and almost that much Power, and about 400 spell scrolls sitting around. So if this is your kind of game…love it! 😀

The Safest Way to Farm (And DP Quest) in Spacecraft Ruins

Maze: Spacecraft Ruins

Purpose: Basically anything other than getting the weird one-off special easter eggs like the Ultimate Answer or the hacked money-case. (See this document for deets on those things.)

Mainball: Bounty Hunter — Gets you 2x Arrest Warrants off of the sign on F1 if you play him. Also, see the Potion below.

Link: Puppeter — The linchpin of the whole setup, Puppeteer’s automatic damage shield allows you to speed-tap your way through the first ~45 non-boss floors without giving a single f**k.

Link: Commander — Who needs to dink around with complicated, thought-provoking special abilities like those of Crusader when this brainless dolt gives you exactly what you need most — quick and dirty bosskills — without having to ponder anything?

Venture Title: Great Elf King (bow) — Snag yourself a Hunter’s Suit first, then somwhere around F41, snap up GEK(b). The function here is to reduce ranged damage by offing one of those annoying double-damage-plus-fire ranged units automatically at the beginning of each floor — this’ll keep them from eating up valuable damage-shield points that you need for the other threats.

Melee Title: Warrior (Sword Master) — Punching the boss in the face demands it!

Magic Title: Wizard (ok, Lord of Elements) — The only thing you need is Meteor Showers to reset the Boss’ resistances. If you want to go past Wizard and take Fire Master and even Lord of Elements to turn your Meteor Showers into actual offensive weapons, you totally can, but it’s unnecessary unless you just don’t see Bloody Wolf’s secret door until F81+.

Artifact: Helm of Warrior — Nothing important in the maze takes up the head slot, and more face damage vs. bosses is always helpful.

Potion: Vampire Hunter’s Potion — Slightly misnamed in that Bounty Hunter also gets double bennies from taking this puppy, too — and +6 Attack/+6 Power ain’t nothing to sneeze at. Also, that -30% enemy dodge reduction actually helps a lot when the Boss’ Spell Resistance is high (meaning his Physical Resistance is down), because it brings his Dodge up with it.

Other Items: Save all your Cogs and Golden Cogs until you get either Mechanized Legs or Alloy Riot Shield. Max both before you move on to Power Hammer. Ignore the cloak and the armor.

The Rundown: Keeping a stockpile of ~600 EP in case you come across a Cog shop, start with getting three stars in Treasure Hunter, then get the other two stars in Treasure Seeker. Bop over for three stars in Novice Warrior, then one star each of Apprentice Mage, Black Mage, and Wizard. Go back to Melee and three-star every Title between Novice Warrior and Warrior. If you run out of Meteor Showers at any time, snag another star in Wizard to restock. Somewhere around F41-45, snag Great Elf King.

The floor strategy is a little complicated. First, kill all ranged bots. Reveal an enemy, and if it’s not a Crab-Bot (the ones that gain attack as you get more of them) keep revealing more enemies. If it is a Crab-Bot, kill it. If there’s an Arm-Bot around to rebuild it, kill the Crabs until they’re all dead. Once all revealable enemies are revealed, look at the enemies that are blocking you from revealing more enemies.

  • If the blocker is an Explody-Bot and it’s attack is above 1, kill the other enemies first, then reveal the blocked enemy. If it’s attack is a threatening amount (check your damage shield to compare), use a Curse to make it go away for almost no pain.
  • If the blocker is an Arm-Bot, kill some other enemy first and then kill the entire Crab-Bot chain before removing the Arm-Bot and revealing the blocked enemy.
  • If the blocker is anything else, kill it and reveal the blocked enemy.
  • If there are no blockers (i.e. all enemies are revealed), kill them following these rules:
    • Kill Explody-Bots last.
    • Kill Arm-Bots second last.
    • Kill Crab-Bots first.
    • Other than that, anything goes.

The Boss strategy is stupidly simple: Punch x2, Icicle, punchx5, Stoneskin, Punchx3, Repeat. (Yes, that means punch x3 then punch x2, then Icicle again.) Between Commander and Warrior stars, you shouldn’t have to swing that long until F80, and you shouldn’t ever have to go that deep — you should be dropping a PoE as soon as it’ll get you back to F51 for purposes of looking for Bloody Wolf.

As long as you’re careful executing the Floor Strategy and you don’t have to wait until past F50 to get the Alloy Riot Shield, this setup is the best way to maximize safety while minimizing time-consuming decision-making. Happy farming!

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!