Power-Farming Oasis Gems with the Hand of Balrog

Maze: Desert Oasis

Purpose: Getting some Gems from Genie’s Lamp (and also the Divine Dragon if I can manage.)

Mainball: Nobunaga — you’ll see.

Soul Link 1: Archaeologist — The Hand of Balrog is an artifact that grants +5 Attack, +10% Attack, and +100 HP. Archaeologist increases that by 250%, meaning +17.5 Attack, +35% Attack, and +350 HP (which in turn grants you another 23.333 attack via Nobunaga). 23.33+17.5=40.833, *1.35= roughly 55 points of Attack just for equipping that one item. Not counting any further multiplication of any other points of Attack you may have. That’s some insane offense and some insane survivability for a pretty simple combo!

Soul Link 2: Zeroes — There are two basic ways to think about having a stupid high Attack. The first is “how can I make it stupid higher so that I can facepunch F80 mobs to death?” The second is “how can I turn this into a tool that will kick ass and take names?” In Desert Oasis, the major threats are Cacti and Scorpions, which you really don’t want to facepunch — Zeroes lets you kill them by punching stuff next to them, and is unique in that he’s the only AoE facepuncher (i.e. he doesn’t use or even care about your Power) in the game, making him a great pairing with the Archeolrog.

Venture Title: Great Swordsman (Crucible) — When everything you want to do involves facepunching, dropping your “getting counterattacked” rate from 80% to 66% is a pretty important survival mechanism. Also, going through Rune Master means more cheap nukes to take out those Cacti that don’t get dropped by Zeroes’ special ability. On a deep run, I’d’ve used the Swordsman Runes to laugh my way through floors 91-99. 🙂

Melee Title: Knight — Yep, didn’t get any farther than this.  If I was to go deeper, I would have taken this up and around to Fighter for Boss-killing into deeper floors.

Magic Title: Magic Apprentice — Ditto.  If I were taking this run down all the way, I totally would have taken this to Light Bishop for the extra points of Attack and the ability to stay alive, and gone through Water Master just to make sure I had enough Icicles.

Artifact: Hand of Balrog — It’s the Hokey Pokey of this run. It is what it’s all about!

Potion: Aladdin’s Lamp Oil — 100 HP means a few more Attack from Nobunaga, and the Golden Lamp Oil is appreciated as well.

The Rundown: I started by getting three stars in all three base Titles just for the general utility. Then I one-starred out to Great Swordsman (crucible) first, to get that sweet 35% total counterattack reduction, then filled in Rune Master for the extra low-level nukes so as to take out any annoying Cacti that didn’t die to Daybreak Cannon.

Then I took three stars of Knight, filled in Explorer and Weapon Master because why not, and…ended the run on F60 with 3 Holy Oil without even paying attention.

I also purchased literally every Lamp Oil, Flag of Sudan, and Persian Powder that came up in the Camel Store, which was probably 20-30% of my total EP spend.

Floor Strategy: Uncover all the enemies you can, and punch the one with the lowest Attack (not including Cacti or Scorpions), hoping Daybreak Cannon will kill the rest. Repeat until you’re out of enemies, pausing to either nuke or Persian Powder down any Cacti that you don’t kill with Daybreak Cannon.

Boss Strategy: Punch it in the face. Over and over. If you get below half health, hit the thing with Icicle instead of facepunching when it’s counter is one, and keep punching. I killed the F30, 40, and 50 Bosses w/o Icicle, because 350 bonus HP + 30% from Knight is enough HP that if you start a fight with full HP, it takes more than a few Boss attacks to get you below half.

How Good Is Archeolrog? This is just one run out of several that I took testing the basic Archaeologist (mostly + Nobunaga) + Hand of Balrog combo — I chose this one to write up because I really liked Zeroes as the third member of the party. I tried many other third members, from Puppeteer (which was also pretty strong, but really missed the Melee titles to add more Attack and HP to accelerate the combo) to Great Guardian to Commander and more, but Zeroes was the one that really turned the combo from ‘strong’ to ‘never felt even mildly threatened by anything,’ which is what I really want from a Power Farming team. I could handily have taken this team to F80 without getting genuinely threatened.

 

Extra Lesson Learned: I’ve played quite a bit of Machine Herald, Black and White Queen, and other significant percentage-to-Attack bonuses, and somehow I never really noticed this until testing Archaeolrog: percentage based bonuses to stats aren’t really super amazing unless you also get a sizable static numerical bonus to the same stat.

This is why Machine Herald is actually less powerful in most circumstances than Blacksmith — because a 50% Attack bonus is generally smaller than a static bonus of +30 followed by a 15% Attack bonus. (In fact, in order to get a bigger bonus from Machine Herald than Blacksmith, you have to have a base Attack of 99 before you count either bonus. That’s not a super-easy number to reach!)

So a big part of the combo’s power isn’t just the 35% Attack bonus, it’s the additional 17+ points of numerical Attack bonus you get that gets added before the 35% bonus is applied. You have to get your base Attack up to 158 in order to get a higher bonus from Machine Herald than you do from Archaeolrog. That’s not just challenging, it’s near-impossible. Especially given that Canas’ Enlightenment has basically zero Gumball-based Attack bonuses. (And that’s not counting the effects of Nobunaga!)

But wait! Let’s put an artifact in on Canas’ side, too. If you take the +11 Attack from Gloves of Dark Arbiter and add it to Machine Herald’s side, you only need a base Attack of 48 to get better results from Machine Herald than Archaeolrog. Which you can probably totally get to…but then you have to compensate for a missing 350 HP, too. :p

In short, Archaeolrog is, mathematically, the strongest Attack bonus you can get on F1 of any maze right now, and it actually keeps up quite nicely as you go down, only starting to really lose out once you reach triple digits, and then only to teams that have “grow as you go” abilities like High Priest+Monkey King+Blacksmith or Nobunaga+Saladin+Crusader. And it comes with three hundred and fifty freaking HP

All of those other “front-end power” gumballs like Nalakuvara and Pharmacist can suck it.

 

Wait…Nalakuvara is Ranger’s Song…and offers a significant static numerical Attack bonus and a higher percentage Attack bonus…

…   …   …

Sorry, got more testing to do, be back soon!

Advertisements

The Key to Real Ultimate Power? Future Cat + Key of War

Maze: Hell Frontier

Purpose: To see if I really did stumble upon an easy, consistent way to out-and-out double my damage output at the tiny cost of one million gold (reduced to 600k by Pharmacist, but, you know, close enough) and figure out whether or not that was awesome. Also, get some Satan’s Son frags and some Hand of Balrog frags along the way.

Mainball: Future Cat — The idea here started when I stared for a long time at the Immortal Blade (a Hell Frontier item that gives a 20% chance to deal double damage) and wondered just how high I could get my “% to deal double damage.” A few dives into the wiki later, and I had my answer: I could handily reach 100% chance to deal double damage…for the first 15 turns of each floor. All I needed was the entire Future Cat set (which includes Machamp Gloves, which give a buff of +50% to deal double damage for 10 or 15 turns), and the Key of War, which gives a straight up 50% chance to deal double damage forever. Between the two, double damage was guaranteed!

Linkball 1: Machine Herald — Because why would you go for anything less than all the Attack cheese?

Linkball 2: Cytus — Two reasons here. First, Timestill Cytus is the be-all and end-all of Boss destruction, and I was going full Timestill. Because no matter how big your Attack, you need some way of keeping the Boss from Counterattacking, and at the lower levels, you need more time to punch face regardless.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger (Lantern) — It’s annoying that Hell Frontier basically forces you to take this, at least if you want to farm Hand of Balrog frags, which I do.

Melee Title: Fighter (Sword Master) — If I were going for a super deep run, I’d’ve taken Sword Sage instead, but since my gravestone was at F66, I didn’t really need the extra damage for floor mobs, so Fighter was the more obvious choice.

Magic Title: Legendary Mage (Air) — Because how else are you going to guarantee three — I mean six — Timestills other than Legendary Mage? Also, more rounds is gooder!

Artifact: Necklace of Legendary Mage — Because Timestills, bitch.

Potion: Potion of Evil Dragon — Because between Machine Herald and the Doubling Combo, every +1 attack turns into +3 damage, and +15 damage per strike is a hella good potion. And it comes with HP, and further (if minor) damage multiplication. What’s not to love?

Crystal Use:

  • All (and first): Getting Demon Gift Box.
  • Fire: Acquiring Hand of Balrog frags, making the Doomsday Blade worth disenchanting.
  • Water: Acquiring Toilet Fruit, summoning Healing Pets.
  • Earth: Acquiring Destroy, then dropped into Crystal Core to work toward the big stat buff at the end.
  • Air: Summoning pets if I didn’t need healing. Eventually dropped into Crystal Core out of boredom.
  • Light: Acquiring Hand of Balrog, then Dim Matrix. ALL the Attack, plzkthxbai.
  • Dark: Acquiring Hand of Balrog, keeping Angels from resurrecting, learning Lightless Shield.

The Rundown: I one-starred up to FPR(l) on F1 for the solz, maxed out Explorer by F3, Magic Bandit by F7, then I did nothing except work my way, star by star, up the Melee chain from Novice Warrior to Sword Master. Once I had done that, I started buying items for the Hand of Balrog and spending any spare on one-starring from White Mage to Legendary Mage, then getting +3 rounds to all my sh!t and one extra Timestill for the giggles.

Then it was backfilling time. Apprentice Mage, then Air Master, then Priest, then Night Walker (for the Power), then the Attack stars from Farplane Ranger, then the Power stars from Farplane Ranger and Legendary Mage.

Then I had to decide whether to hold off on taking my 5th-tier Melee Title because I wanted Sword Sage, or take it now and take Fighter. I was on F59 and my gravestone was on F66, so since I didn’t have to actually worry about fighting big, deep floor mobs, I took Fighter. After getting my Satan’s Son frags, I PoEd back to F36. Finished my Hand of Balrog on F41, suicided myself into a pack of Stronghold Angels on F44, and the deed was done.

Was It Worth It?: Kinda. I mean seriously, I facepunched the F60 boss to death with an Attack of 240-something, +65% from Fighter, x2 was ~750 damage per punch for the first 15 turns. Obviously, I didn’t need all of them. That said, the real problem was that it only lasts for the first 15 turns, and even though I didn’t go that deep, I can tell you that’s flat out not enough sustainability to last past F80 or so. Which kind of makes it less worth it than I would like.

Don’t get me wrong, the concept is amazing for short and mid-length runs — but do you want to spend a million gold on a midlength run? Probably not. 😀

 

How Good is Flagellant?

Hi, guys, how’s is going? Arananthi here. Today I’d like to introduce to you one of the new Mercenary Camp gumballs and talk about the fact that it is amazing in a very subtle way. Let’s go to the run.

Maze: Hell Frontier

Purpose: Farming Son of Satan and Hand of Balrog fragments. My tombstone is on F81, so this run has to go fairly deep.

Mainball: Flagellant — This Venture-type Gumball has a crazy number of abilities, all of which are activated once, give a small benefit, and have a HUGE drawback. To give you an idea of what I mean, here’s a list of which of Flagellant’s abilities I activated on which floor, and what they did:

  • Floor 1:
    • Halve your HP for the entire Maze (including all future HP gains) to gain a permanent 5% bonus to Attack and Power.
    • Halve your Dodge for the entire Maze to gain 5% Damage Reduction.
    • Ban yourself from using any Special Spells this Maze to gain a 2% chance to retain an enemy’s Soul when killing them.
  • Floor 55:
    • You cannot learn any more Venture Titles this run: Receive 1d2 Dragon Balls.
    • You cannot learn any more Dragon Titles this run: Receive 5 random Souls.
    • You cannot change your Armor anymore this run: Receive 3 random Swordsmanship Scrolls.
  • Floor 51, 2nd Passage (after Infernal Gate):
    • You cannot learn any more Melee Titles this run: When attacking, 10% chance to cause double damage.
  • Floor 79 (Immediately before last Boss I needed to fight, so I went nuts):
    • You cannot change your Gloves anymore this run: ignore enemy’s Physical Resistance 10%.
    • You cannot change your Ring anymore this run: ignore enemy’s Magic Resistance 10%.
    • You cannot change your Cloak anymore this run: Effects of Aid spells +10%.
    • You cannot change your Treasure anymore this run: Attack +3, Power +3, +15% damage vs. Bosses.

As you can see, none of those bonuses are huge, and all of those penalties are HUGE! …If you don’t build very carefully around them. So let’s talk about how I did that.

Soul Link 1: Crusader — Pop quiz, hotshot: how many Gumballs look at the words “Halve your HP” and think “YEE-HAW!!”?

Soul Link 2: Puppeteer — The interaction between Puppeteer and Crusader is complex and hard to take advantage of, but amazing once you master it. Basically, the Puppet’s unique damage shield is based on it’s Attack, which is based on your Attack when you summon the Puppet. So if you have Puppeteer and Crusader, you immediately spend the first dozen or two floors working hard to get the Puppet to kill itself. Then, you kill yourself…or get as close as you can without actually dying. I literally used Curses to deliberately take single-point-of-damage counterattacks until I was below 1% of my max HP, because that’s when Crusader’s bonus is biggest.

Then I used Bless (later, Blade of Ruin, which I love Hell Frontier for giving me 3 of with Diablo’s Soul) and summoned a Puppet with a ridiculous attack. The Puppet inherits 20% of your Attack, and it came down with an Attack in the high 50s on floor 18ish. The Puppet Shield is then 5x its Attack, so I was dancing around with a 250 point damage shield when I walked in on the F30 Boss with his 39-point attack.

And this interaction repeats every time the Puppet dies — so you want to keep the Puppet alive for a while, but you do eventually want it to kill itself so that you can use your presumably-now-much-higher Attack, boost it to hell and back with Crusader, pop a Blade of Ruin, and poop out a new, improved Puppet with an attack of like 124 or so, providing you with a damage shield of 600-ish points.

The best part is, once you have that crazy stupid damage shield, you can never heal yourself, and mulch your way through 10 floors of baddies taking down one per swing at near-Howling speeds without breaking a sweat b/c your Crusader bennies just sit there as long as you never pick up a red Potion. (Just watch your Puppet’s timer and make sure he doesn’t attack anything himself!)

So your Puppet doesn’t benefit from your Dodge, but it totally benefits from your Damage Reduction, because it affects enemies’ Attack scores, not your actual damage taken. So the tradeoff of half my Dodge for 5% Damage Reduction was totally in my favor thanks to pet mechanics. And I didn’t have any Special skills, so the 2% soul capture was just butter.

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger (Lantern) — You can’t farm Hand of Balrog fragments without it! Also, I maxed this one out fairly early b/c once you max a specific Title out, you get a small benefit from Flagellant — in this case, a Dragon Ball. Yay! I got my wish from doing so, spent it on Gems, and banned myself from learning Dragon Titles because at that point, why not? 🙂 It was worth some pretty quality souls, including +1 Defense, +1 Attack, and one Blade of Ruin in soul form. Nice!

Melee Title: Duke of Destruction — Because why spend ‘real’ Blade of Ruin scrolls on buffing my Puppet’s attack when I can have them procced for me? I maxxed this one out midwayish through the run, and was rewarded with a clean 10% chance to deal double damage, which stacked with Anonym’s Sword’s 20% chance to do double damage for a healthy bump in my total damage throughput.

Magic Title: Legendary Mage — Because it’s kind of silly to take anything else alongside Duke of Destruction. I never finished this Title.

Artifact: Duke of Destruction’s Belt — Never take Duke without getting your proc% up to 45% with this beastie.

Potion: Nugget Potion — Because that 5% extra Crystal Find really does add up!

The Rundown: Very straightforward. With Flagellant giving me impetus to max out Titles fast, I did mostly just that. I one-starred up to FPR(l) on F1 before looting the Corpse, then filled in Explorer by F4, then Magic Bandit by F11 (this actually gives better EP in the long run than maxxing Magic Bandit first). Then I filled in Night Walker.

Then I had to take a break and get two stars in Magic Apprentice, a star in Novice Warrior, and two stars in Warrior Jr. before the F30 Boss so I would have some offense I could use against him. (That huge damage shield I mentioned is less useful in Hell Frontier b/c the Boss just straight ganks you after 9 turns regardless, so…yeah.)

After the Boss, I finished Farplane Ranger (took me a while b/c I kept spending EP on Gems and stuff for the Hand of Balrog), then did ALL of the Melee Titles up through 12-star Duke of Destruction before going back to one-star up to Legendary Mage and take all three +Round stars, which is all I got in before the F81 goalpost.

I got the Demon’s Gift Box around F50 Mark II (after taking an infernal gate from 55 to 35), then dumped all my Crystals into Light of Corruption to buy me more turns against the later Bosses. Other than that, I spend my Earth Crystals on corpse matrixes and Strongholds, and mostly just saved up everything else for more Light of Corruption.

Floor Strategy: Literally just tap an enemy, kill it, move on, making sure never to reveal an enemy if Puppeteer is about to attack. It doesn’t take a lot of strategy once you get the Phat Puppet trick down. 🙂

Boss Strategy: Basically “Electrostatic Field, Nuke, Icicle, BoR, punch until dead.” Add Timestop for F70 and F80. Again, pretty straightforward. Crusader + BoR = rampant death everywhere. 😀

 

So, How Good IS Flagellant? 

In the end, Flagellant is cool, but he’s weird — most of his tricks by nature only happen after you’ve already done most everything else you intend to do. Like you don’t lock down your Cloak slot forever unless you are 100% certain you have The Cloak to End All Cloaks.

And, his tricks seem pretty small — but then, when your plan is already coherent enough and solid enough to get you to the endgame without Flagellant, he really can add a surprising amount to a seemingly-complete build. It might not seem like much, but when it’s multiplied by Crusader and BoR, that 5% Attack boost turns out to be startlingly big (like +20 or more Attack!)

And if you can work out a situation where the penalties are either completely unnoticeable (like taking five of the six “can’t use this kind of magic” penalties while playing Apollo), or in the ultimate version are actually beneficial (like taking half-HP forever with Crusader and Puppeteer!), he becomes kind of scary badass.

So, Flagellant is stupid good — but only if you are stupid good at building around his crazy abilities.

In other words…I’m in love. Thank you, and I’ll see you next week. 😀

Introducing the Grandmaster Pwnzor of Bloody Fortress: Vosebarker!

Maze: Bloody Fortress

Purpose: Farming Lich King fragments, in this case — though really this plan will work like gangbusters for any damn thing you want to do in Bloody Fortress.

Mainball: Alchemist — You can’t Vosebarker without Alchemist main, straight up. OK, here’s how we’re going to break Bloody Fortress: Alchemist gains a Quenching Essence at random 20% of the time when you pick up a piece of gear. Bloody Fortress rains gear down on you like a cow pissing on a flat rock. I seriously had enough Quenching Essences to craft the almighty Vosebarker’s Cloak by F11, at which point all I had to do to clear floors was punch faces until about F65.

Linkball 1: Blacksmith — You want to punch faces? Blacksmith will help you punch faces. You have 10 gear slots, so Blacksmith is basically a +30 Attack bonus and then a +15% Attack bonus on top of that. It’s enough to help even a panty-waist caster like Alchemist keep facepunching deep into the Maze. I walked into the F30 boss with an unbuffed Attack of 119 and a Power of 48 and I had caster base stats. That’s the power of Blacksmith.

Linkball 2: Gladiator — Most of the time, you’re going to want to punch the monsters to death one by one as you reveal them, and we’re going to be dealing double damage a significant percentage of the time anyway, so Gladiator’s attack bonus will come in hugely handy. (There’s some flexibility here — I did a few of my runs with Swordsman and it worked just fine, and Holy Warrior is solid here, too, as the +15 Defense will let your Vosebarker’s Cloak take you an extra 5-7 floors, which is bigger than it sounds. And of course free healing is nice.)

Venture Title: Holy Blacksmith — You’ll be investing your EP in Venture titles for the first bit, even though you’re Magic main, so get used to the idea. Holy Blacksmith is also 100% vital to the Vosebarkerening, so that’s a thing.

Magic Title: Mage of Destruction — After freely punching faces down to about F65 and then carefully punching faces for another 15 floors, you’ll have a mountain of Fireballs saved up from Alchemist’s transcription. Mage of Destruction saves you a lot of time, mana, and Fireballs by turning about a quarter of yours into much more significant Armageddons.

Melee Title: Hell God of War — You’ve got Fire Master, and you’ll be getting big bonuses to Fire Magic from Faith and the equipment Faith gives you, so turning your facepunching into epically destructive spellcasting is everything you want and more.

Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — to make paying for all that Venture title stuff slightly less painful. You’ll be replacing it soon. 😀

Potion: Glacier Silver Reagent — A vastly underestimated potion, this will double the effect of your Red and Blue bottles picked up from the dungeon floor, which means you don’t even have to worry about whatever damage sneaks through your Vosebarker’s Cloak, as it’ll heal up without any real effort on your part. Also, the extra mana will help your MP pool keep up with your Fireball pool well past F100.

Important Gear Choices: You’re going to craft a ton of six-star equipment, and after the Vosebarker’s Cloak, you can really craft whatever you need when you need it. I suggest an early Air Book so you have plenty of Timestills, Electrostatic Fields, and Disrupting Rays to deal with the later bosses, and you will definitely need a Great Druid’s Cloak by F70. After that, anything goes — but don’t stress about the melee side of things, as you’ll be building the entire Realm of the Dead suit as you go down anyway.

Important Faith Choices: Mono-Eye Tyrant 11 –> Hectoria 10 –> (Lich 15) –> Hectoria 20 –> Mono-Eye Tyrant 20 –> Heinhardt 20 –> Victoria 20 –> Lich 20.  Taking Mono-Eye Tyrant first gives you more Magic Item Find, which means more chances for Alchemist to spawn Quenching Essences. It also gives you more Defense, which again, Vosebarker’s Cloak loves, and leaves you with a Tyrant’s Belt for maximum face damage at level 20.

Taking Hectoria 10 next gives us a very important -50% to the Manticore’s Roar effect, which is the single biggest weakness in your Vosebarker’s Cloak plan between F40 and F65. Also, carrying a Torch around for +30 Magic Item Find isn’t a bad thing at all.

Then, if it’s on your agenda, take a short break to get to level 15 Lich King so you can get the obtaining/farming Lich King part done. Also, more Magic Item Find. 🙂

The last 10 levels of Hectoria eliminate the Roar effect entirely, so we have no concerns about hurting Manticore any longer, and give us a nice boost to Power and Fire Magic for our nukey-nukey Hell God of War/Mage of Destruction battleplan. Then the last 10 levels of Mono-Eye Tyrant give us more Magic Item Discovery again and terminate with a huge +12 Attack bonus and 15% to double damage. (Stacks with Giant’s Eye and Giant’s Bones should you feel the need.)

Then just power down Heinhardt next because the Black Armor helps keep with the facepunching longer, then Victoria to finish up the set, then finish up Lich King, just cause you can. 🙂

The Setup: Start by one-starring your way to Holy Blacksmith. At the rate you gain Quenching Essences in Bloody Fortress, you’ll almost certainly have enough to craft Vosebarker’s Cloak before you have enough EP to reach Holy Blacksmith. From the moment you craft that (typically circa F15) until about F65, you literally only have to worry about four things:

  • Not punching a Spikey Skeleton,
  • Not spending too much time on fire,
  • Being very careful about how you kill Manticores (and to a lesser degree Cyclops), and
  • Dealing with the Boss.

So, compared to a normal Bloody Fortress run, basically nothing. Being immune to counterattacks means you’re immune Lich’s (non-floor) fire, Demon of the Abyss’ curse, Manticore’s poison, and Cyclops’ Thump ability.  This is as close as it comes to speedrunning Bloody Fortress, folks. 🙂

So, once you have that under wraps, it’s time for the fun to begin.

The Fundown: First, snag your other two stars of Treasure Seeker: you need to be able to avoid enemies until you want to touch them. Then, snag all three stars of Magic Apprentice, Black Mage, Wizard, and Fire Master in that order. You don’t need no Melee titles, you’ve got Vosebarker’s Cloak! It doesn’t matter how many times you have to punch something in the face to kill it, because it can’t hurt you! 🙂

Including the F30 boss! 😀

Once you’ve maxxed out Fire Master, you can go back and take one star in Novice Warrior, then three stars in Warrior, one star each of Magic Warrior and Dragon Warrior, and finally all three Power stars of Hell God of War. “Power?” you say. “Don’t you mean HP for the Meteor trigger?” Hell no, I mean Power for the boost to Meteor Shower. Meteor Shower is going to be your primary boss-killing tool, and you’re going to want that sh*t crunk up. (Also, until you get your Hectoria faith up to 18, you’re going to want to minimize the chance that you accidentally Meteor Shower a Manticore.)

Then backfill your Warrior and non-Holy Blacksmith Venture titles, then your Hell God’s HP and Attack stars, then take Mage of Destruction and max out Power, MP, and HP, in that order. Finally, you can take your Holy Blacksmith stars just for sh*ts and g*ggles. (Feel free, by the way, to use Quenching Essences just for the 20% reduction to counterattacks — you’ll have plenty!)

Your goal should be to PoE just around where your Vosebarker’s Cloak isn’t protecting you consistently anymore (F59 or F69, generally), so you can go back down again for maximum super-safe EP gain.

If you’re having troubles getting to the point where you can take Holy Blacksmith, keep in mind the Giant set and the Manticore set can both be worn at the same time, and with both suits on you gain 13 HP per kill and have a 33% chance to deal double damage, which should keep you quite safe.

Floor Strategy is as complex as you might think:

  1. Kill ranged enemies without revealing any non-ranged enemies.
  2. Reveal non-enemy tiles until you have 5 or more things to do that aren’t ‘reveal a new tile.’
  3. Reveal an enemy.
    1. If it’s an Anti-Magic Demon and you’re low on HP or might otherwise need to cast a spell to get through the floor, either cast those spells first and then kill it, or go reveal a different enemy.
    2. If it’s a Spiky Skeleton, nuke it to death or use a Curse to make it impotent.
    3. Kill it. If it was a Lich, do your 5 ‘other things’ to let the Fire pass, then reveal 5 more things to do and start at 3.

“Kill it” should mean facepunching until at least F70, a mix of facepunching and non-Fire-element nukes through F80, and basically Fireballing everything that moves from F80 until you decide to quit.

Boss Strategy seems like it might be hard without the use of 1st level spells, but of course it’s not really. Save your Meteor Swarms for F70+; take out the F30 boss by punching it as it can’t hurt you with Vosebarker’s Cloak on. For F40/50/60, take him out using Electrostatic Field + Holy Bolts, Gravity, and Implosion, with Icicles and Hexes to keep him from attacking. If you have to chance it, it can be worth it to punch him (while stunned, of course) to get a free Meteor Swarm out of it.

For F70/80/90/100, go ahead and use your Meteor Swarms liberally. With the damage boost from the full Realm of the Dead set, a magic book (Sage’s Diary if you have it boosted up to 12% or 15% all-spell-effect boost), and Ring of Ash, plus the bonuses from Hell God of War, I was able to kill the F100 boss with 4 Meteor Swarms (all cast under both Electrostatic Field and Disrupting Ray).

On my most recent run, I used this build to test exactly what Faith level was required to get Lich King frags. I encountered the broken statue at Faith 11, s/l30’d it away, went up a Faith level, encountered it again at 12, s/l30’d it away, and repeated every Faith level until I finally succeeded at Faith 15…which by my good luck happened to be at F101.  😀

Here’s what I looked like at the end:

Seeing Stars

…and that’s after sacrificing an entire trio of Vosebarker’s Equipment as well as some Melee Master’s Gloves and a Pharaoh’s Mask (source of those two silly souls) to one of the Evil God statues, and you don’t see the Air Book, Water Book, Fire Book, and (unused) Istantine I was carrying around so I could make sure I had all the spells I needed when I needed them.

I’m almost disappointed at this point that I don’t have anything left to do in Bloody Fortress anymore. This was far and away the funnest running I’ve done since…well, like two weeks ago. God damn I love this game. 😀

WAIT! I forgot! I got Creator!

do have one more thing to do in Bloody Fortress!

/scampers off to go Peter-hunting

 

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! 🙂