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. 🙂

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

Maze: Forest of Whispers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I have ten Aurora Barriers,” she smugged.

“Umm…and?”

“And why do I have ten Aurora Barriers?”

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

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

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