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!

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OMG Cytus is the Coolest Gumball EVER

Maze: Hell Frontier

Purpose: DP Questing. I have one Abyss Demon to resurrect, one item to craft in the Alchemist’s Array, one Corpse Flower to transplant, three Gumballs to summon, and one Light of Corruption to max out. I’m hoping to get all but the last one done in this run. Oh, and if I can farm some Satan’s Son and/or Hand of Balrog fragments along the way, so much the better. Got a Legacy at F70, so it’s definitely a might-do. :p

Mainball: Sunflower — Gotta have a Plant to do the Corpse Flower, and I wanted to test at least two different Active abilities’ interactions with Cytus (see below). I’d previously tried World Tree and established that it doesn’t work with Cytus because even though it has a little circle and a counter, it’s not Active b/c it triggers automatically when the little circle fills up. So, Sunflower it is.

Linkball 1: Three Eye King — Canas, check. Melee type, check. Active ability, check. Bork as furk, check. I’ve hit the quatrafecta!

Linkball 2: Cytus — One of the new Rayark gumballs, Cytus has an Exclusive Skill that creates “Memories.” Each Memory is either:

  1. Cytus’ Memory of the most recent spell you cast (excluding PoE), or
  2. The Memory of one of your other Gumballs, which you get when you use their Active skill and then follow it up with Cytus’ Memory Specimen ability.

In this case, the three non-Spell memories I had access to were:

  1. Sunflower’s Memory, which grants +3% to Light spells and a 3% discount on Photosynthesis (max 15%),
  2. Three Eye King’s Memory, which gives all of your currently-summoned creatures +50 HP and +5 Attack, and
  3. Divine Dragon’s Memory (’cause I got Dragon Magic), which gives you +1 Attack and your next 5 attacks proc Dragon’s Claw (in other words, they deal triple damage.) Unfortunately, this does not stack with any other buff, but still…nice!

Venture Title: Farplane Ranger (lantern) — Because of the next two Titles. I’ll explain at the end. 🙂

Magic Title: Pope — Almost there…

Melee Title: Light Arbiter — OK, so check this out. Farplane Ranger, in Hell Frontier, gives access to a small selection of Complete Souls. This includes:

  • Complete Adventurer’s Soul, giving some EP,
  • Complete Beast Soul (hard to find!), giving +1 Attack,
  • Complete Mage Soul, giving +1 Power,
  • Complete Angel soul, giving +1% to Light magic, and
  • Complete Demon soul, giving +1% to damage spells.

As you can see, 60% of those souls add directly to the concept of “damage from Light spells”. I actually didn’t know what Sunflower’s Memory did when I started the run, but it turned out to play directly into my plan. 🙂

So Pope is unique in that it doesn’t just double your damage, it also doubles all your other modifiers to your Light damage spells. So with +75% to Holy Bolt from Pope, +75% to Holy Bolt from Light Arbiter, +60% to Light Magic from Light Master, and another let’s say +10% to Damage spells and +40% to Light spells (from Angel’s souls and Sunflower’s Memories), my Holy Bolts were dealing more than 3.5x their normal damage…twice. That’s like collecting enough bonuses to reach +600% on your spells!

Yeah, that’s worth doing. 🙂

Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — Honestly, the extra bennies from Pope and Light Bishop aren’t that great, and I want to make a lot of Sunshine, so getting the steepest discount I can on Titles is going to be a good idea.

Potion: Sunlight Potion — Getting the steepest discount I can on Sunshine is also a good idea. (Again, I didn’t know what Sunflower’s Memory did going into this, so this worked out very well for me. 🙂 )

The Rundown: I of course one-starred my way to Farplane Ranger (Lantern) on F1 before collecting the first corpse. Then I did an experimental Sunlight to see how Cytus worked, thinking because of the way the ability reads that I’d get two Sunlight for the price of one. Not what happened, but getting Sunflower’s Memory was pretty sweet anyway.

After that I one-starred my way up to Pope, backfilled Light Master, then one-starred my way up to Light Arbiter, pausing every time that I maxed out Cytus’ Energy to create a Sunlight and then a Sunflower’s Memory, until I had made 5 Sunflower’s Memory and thus obtained my maxium (30% total) discount on Sunlights.

From there, I basically sought out and obtained every point of Power I could find: Knight of the Faith, Oracle, the Power stars from all three of my Tier-5 titles…everything. And around the time I had done that, I also got to my F70 Legacy (having taken a peculiarly long Infernal Portal from F56 back to F32 along the way, disproving my theory that the Portals are always 20 floors long.)

At my Legacy, I dumped 50 of each Crystal to get Demon’s Gift Box so I could get some Satan’s Son frags, and got access to the Demon Title along the way. It so happens that the ‘magic side’ of the last level of the Demon Title has two sets of +3 Power stars in it, and I Demoned up until I had all that, activating my cute little Mini-Demon Pal on F73. (Each of the three Demons lasts 9 floors, and the last floor I might need to visit would be F101, so starting on 73 meant I’d keep the bonus for as long as I could possibly need.)

Once I had ALL the power, I went back and took more Knight for the HP, and had time to max out the 4th tier of Demon before I got to the end of my run.

Somewhere around F50, I got my first and only Dragon Wish of the run, which I used to get Dragon Magic, because Cytus testing. I didn’t use it much once I saw that the Divine Dragon’s Memory was basically “hit real hard five times” in the form of a buff that didn’t stack with Blade of Ruin and was therefore dead to me.

I had a total brain fart at the F60 Boss and seriously forgot that I was doing the whole Pope’s Killer Holy Bolts shenanigan, and had to panic-summon Howling in order to kill the boss before he did his 9-layer instagib on me. He made it a quick trip from F60 until about F85 where he died horribly.

Somewhere around F75, I finally got the ingredients together to form the Hand of Balrog, so that happened, and with it, my crafting DP quest. Coincidentally, on the same floor, I summoned my final Gumball in the form of one Frost Queen.

Finally, from Howling’s death onward, it got real. I had a huge pool of HP from lots and lots of Sunlight and Knight, but I didn’t have all that many spells saved up because I honestly didn’t expect the run to go as long as it did. Freaking Corpse Flower literally didn’t show up until F101.

Floor Strategy: Pre-Howling: Open one enemy at a time, punch it to death. Summon Water Elementals constantly to keep HP full. Howling: Let Howling eat absolutely everything. Occasionally Curse an Angel to keep it from hurting me too much before Howling ate it. (I did, of course, activate the “No Angel Resurrection” side of Azazel’s Statue when it showed up.)

Post-Howling: Open up as many enemies as possible, killing any Angels and Ghosts as soon as they’re spotted with big nukes. Once max visible enemies are visible, SkyEye and Death Ripple or Fist of Justice or Chain Lightning, sometimes using Cytus to replicate a second copy for the kill. Around F94, I had maxed out the final level of Demon, which gives you a bunch of Implosions as well as the ability to have Implosions affect all visible enemies. So I cast Earthquake/Implosion/Implosion every floor for the auto-wins.

Boss Strategy: Electrostatic Field/Disrupting Ray/Holy Bolt until dead. Starting on F80, I discovered the orgasmic joy of Timestill Cytus.  The one big disadvantage to using Cytus during a boss fight is that it takes an action to use Cytus’ ability, then a second action to actually cast the spell, which is often a lethal consumption of time. But with Timestill, you cast it, you use one of your X turns to create a Memory of the Timestill, then you wreck face until Timestill ends, and then you cast a second Timestill from the Memory.

Oh, God. The wreckage is REAL. I was fortunate enough to have 4 Timestills going in to F80, and I still had one left when I quit on F101 after finally transplanting the damn Piranha Plant, because Cytus really IS the coolest. Gumball. EVAR!

 

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.  🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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. 🙂

The Fastest (and Funnest) Way to Speedfarm Kraken Captain

Maze: Pirate’s Seaport

Purpose: Farm Kraken Captain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Safest Way to Speedfarm Predator

Maze: Lost Temple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!