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! 😀

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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.

Taking Abyss to F100 Farming Ancient Arena

Maze: Ancient Arena

Purpose: To finish the Honor Quests “Reach Floor 100 with Abyss Roar” and “Fill in Holy Rune Master.” Oh, also, farm the hell out of the Ancient Arena’s audience members.

Main Gumball: Shadow Assassin — We’re going to F100, so I’m pulling out all the cheese stops on this one.

Soul Link 1: Vampire — ALL the cheese stops. With Death Ripples killing most of the foes and Life Drain sucking HP back from the few we do have to attack, we’re going to waltz through the floor mobs all the way down.

Soul Link 2: Mutant no. 5 — So, we need something we can do against the boss, too. Timestill On a Stick sounds like a great idea, and it’ll let us heal up by punching floor-mob faces without counterattacks on the lower floors, too.

Melee Title: Dark Arbiter — Obviously. 40% Death Ripple from Shadow Assassin, 20% Death Ripple from Assassin’s Mask, and 40% Death Ripple from Dark Arbiter means literally every facepunch comes with a Death Ripple. Every. Single. One. That’s bork as furk.

Magic Title: Dark Priest — Because double damage and extra Death Ripple effect is what this build is all about.

Venture Title: Holy Rune Master — Because double damage and extra Implosion effect is a good way to hurt bosses, but Implosions don’t come often enough, so we’ll make our own.

Artifact: Gloves of Dark Arbiter — Because the artifact’s stars give you a second 50% chance to do double damage with Death Ripple (at 2 stars, which is all I have right now). I never actually bothered to sit down and determine whether the two chances stacked (i.e. my Ripples were always doing double damage), or they were independent (and doing quadruple damage 25% of the time and double damage 50% of the time).

Potion: Mixture of Light and Dark — I’ll never understand why Abyssal Rum gives +20% to Fire and Dark and then no other stats, where Mixture of Light and Dark gives you +20% to Light and Dark…and then also +2 Power and +30 MP. Is Light that much weaker than Fire?

Other Gear: I have to admit, I got lucky with gear on this run. By the end, I was wearing almost entirely six-star gear: Istantine, Melee Master’s Gloves, Consul’s Armor, Starmoon Pendant…but the thing that really made it shine was landing the Great Druid’s Cloak from the F60 boss. Without that, I probably would have died somewhere near F85. With it, I cleared those last 15 floors nicely.  My only two low-end bits of gear were Nether Boots — which don’t count, I disenchanted four or five higher-star boots because I wanted that +25% to Death Ripple — and a Ceremony Ring. Yeah, I literally never found a ring except that and about seven Rune Rings.

The Run Down: I ran straight up to Dark Arbiter and maxed out the +Ripple Chance star before I touched any other class. Then it was up to Dark Priest (through Conjurer to keep MP up) and all three +Death Ripple Effect stars in that and then the same from Dark Arbiter. Then I took the two Artifact Stars for Arbiter, then went and backfilled all the lower Magic titles and all the lower Melee titles in that order.

Then it was a straight shot to Holy Rune Master, and maxxed out the damn thing entirely for the XP. Next was a backfill of all the Venture Titles, then my one PoE from F79 to F55. Then I got the rest of Dark Arbiter filled in, and finished off Dark Priest by F83.

I purchased every single Shaman’s Ear I could find, and used them liberally during Arena fights to kill the audience — down to about F65; after that, it was easy to kill the audience by punching the enemy a bunch. For most battles afterward, I actually went ahead and took my Gloves of Dark Arbiter off to lower my Attack so that I could get more Death Ripples off before the enemy died. Got all of 2 gems from killing the audience, but I did manage to pull off the whole Panda-wine Oriental-shrine thing, so that more than made up for it. 🙂

The basic floor strategy was drop-dead simple: reveal as many enemies as possible, punch the one with the lowest Attack, repeat. Arena doesn’t have a lot of complex baddies, so it didn’t need to be anything but that.

The boss strategy was almost as simple: Electrostatic Field, Disrupting Ray, punch face until dead…until F60. Then it became Field, Aurora Barrier, Disrupting Ray, punch face until dead…until F80. Then it was Electrostatic Field, Aurora Barrier, Disrupting Ray, Implosion until dead (s/l once when I really needed the Dark Priest’s crit to go off and it didn’t.) The F90 boss took a Shaman’s Ear before each Implosion and three Holy Rebirths, and of course I didn’t even try to fight the F100 boss. XP accomplished, run over, done deal. 🙂