Maze: Hell Frontier
Purpose: Satisfying a long-standing personal goal of mine — maxxing out Lionheart King’s True Cross and using it to beat a Big Bad Evil Guy. And since I had done Hell Fronter the Sith Lord way, and since it’s, you know, hell, it seemed doubly appropriate. Also, I wanted to playtest the Apollo+Flagellant interaction. And I farmed some Son of Satan fragments along the way.
Mainball: Lionheart King — Can’t get the True Cross any other way. If you’re familiar, the True Cross gives +2 Power, +20 HP, and +5% to Light spells at level one, and gains a level when you cast 10 Bless — or, if you have Apollo linked, 10 Heavenly Beam. Then to level it again, you have to cast 10 Holy Bolt, then 10 Divine Favor, then 10 Fist of Heaven, then finally, yes, 10 Holy Rebirth. At it’s final level, in addition to the predictable +10 Power, +100 HP, and +25% to Light spells, it also grants 1 random Light spell whenever you go down a floor.
Linkball 1: Apollo — The easiest way to get all the Light spells you need for the True Cross.
Linkball 2: Flagellant — I figured being able to toss all 5 non-Light schools of magic away to Flagellation was a good start, and I also showed my commitment to the True Cross by immediately sealing it permanently into my Treasure slot. The +2 rounds to spell duration granted by sacrificing Air magic made Heavenly Beam into a sweet ‘nuke plus 3 rounds of Stoneskin,’ which turned out to be amazingly useful.
Melee Title: Light Arbiter — You’ve seen this plan before, fairly recently.
Magic Title: Pope — Yep. We’re going to take down the Lord of Hell with True-Cross-powered massively boosted Holy Bolts of Holiness.
Venture Title: Farplane Ranger — As mentioned a few posts ago, Hell Frontier’s selection of Souls feeds directly into the Pope gameplan, boosting damage spells, Light spells, and Power directly.
Artifact: Crown of Pope — I figured that snagging a bunch of spare Fists of Heaven couldn’t hurt the quest to level up the True Cross, and a bunch of extra Power would help, too.
Potion: Lich’s Enhancement Liquid — Again, more Power, and the reduction to enemy Spell Resist was pretty clutch at the end, there, too.
Crystal Usage: Having run Hell Frontier for a while, I realize that including a section here on Crystal usage is kind of important. So, after I got Diablo and Tyrael out of the Dim Matrix, opened the Demon’s Gift Box so I could farm Son of Satan, and leveled Light of Corruption to level 10 to give me a few extra turns of ‘not instantly dying’ to the Boss’ special, here’s where the Crystals all went:
- Fire: Doomsday Blade, Infernal Portal, then really nothing.
- Earth: Collapsed Stronghold — Earth Strongholds give spare Crystals, so they’re the way to go.
- Air: Crystal Core — the 10th level Air Crystal Core gives you a 10% chance not to use MP upon casting, which seemed like a good step toward getting True Cross levels.
- Water: Hell Toilet (that fruit’s Stun is crucial for someone with no access to Hex and Icicle!) and Collapsed Portal to summon healing pets.
- Light: Crystal Core — I wanted the +100% to Light Magic for leveling the Crystal Core up a bunch.
- Dark: Dim Matrix — +a crapload of Power over the course of ~60 floors? Yes please!
The Rundown: As per my previous run with Flagellant, maxxing out Titles quickly is great for sneaking in Flagellations that don’t actually hurt you, so I pushed to Farplane Ranger, then filled in Explorer, then Magic Bandit, then *all* of the Venture Titles.
After that, it was Magic time. If I hadn’t already gotten the Pioneer Honor Quest, I totally would have gotten it here, as I one-starred up to Pope, then filled in Light Master, then Magic Apprentice, then all of the Magic title from top down. Somewhere in the middle of that, I decided to forsake any chance of getting Dragon Titles and Flagellated that option away as well.
Finally, I blitzed up to Light Arbiter and took all three stars of +Holy Bolt, then filled Melee in from bottom to top. I Flagellated my last Title away at F89.
Other Flagellations I performed included:
- Sealing my ‘Special Spells’ ability on F1 (gained 2% chance to capture enemy Souls upon killing them),
- Sealing my Fire magic on F1 (gained 3 Fist of Heaven and 1 Holy Rebirth),
- Sealing my Air magic on F1 (gained +2 rounds to “all spells” — meaning Heavenly Bolt),
- Sealing my Armor slot as soon as I got Tyrael’s Strength,
- Sealing my Ring slot (Ring of Ash) and my Cloak slot (Great Druid’s Cloak) after finishing my last Title on F89,
- And finally on F99, I opened up a HUGE can of “I’mma whip this Boss’ ass so hard he won’t even see straight.”
That last bullet point means that I Flagellated away my Water and Dark magics to get a full heal and a Holy Rebirth, then my Earth magic to summon a Rock Golem that would absorb one complete attack from the Boss. Then I Flagellated away my ability to gain HP from Magic Potions to get 3 Magic Toffees, with which I completely restored my MP. Then I Flagellated away half my MP to gain a +10% bonus to Damage spells.
Then I went into the final Boss floor and before doing anything else, I Flagellated away my ability to use items, as I’d already used my Toilet Fruit (see above) and my Scroll of Lightless Shield to take out the F90 Boss without breaking a sweat. The ability you gain by sacrificing item use is five complete damage preventions.
And when you’re not physically attacking the Boss, that means you only use up one of those five preventions when he attacks you. Which means you get seventeen turns of unmolested nuking the crap out of the Boss (assuming you have a Holy Rebirth handy to cancel his 9-layer autokill, which of course I did.)
At that point, who cares if he has 90% Spell Resistance? I was already sidestepping 20% of it thanks to Lich’s Enhancement Liquid and another 10% of it thanks to Flagellating my Ring slot. (Oh, and a 15% chance to ignore Spell Resistance altogether thanks to Apollo’s Talent.)
I didn’t use it all, and I didn’t do anything fancy at all. I literally beat the Lord of Hell using nothing except Holy Bolts to the dome over and over and over again. Because that’s how good guys win, dammit: by stubbornly and overdramatically hitting evil over the head with the Light of Truth and Justice over and over and over again until it f**king STICKS.
So the lessons learned from this run are as follows:
- Maxxing out the True Cross is 100% not at all worth the effort. Seriously, get a Light Book and take your caster main instead of doing all that dicking around, you’ll be way happier.
- Flagellant is absolutely stupidly amazing at winning Boss Prizes. He might not even do very much — or anything at all! — for the first half or more of a run, but holy crap, that last Boss is just nothing at all in the face of the almighty power of a Gumball that just tosses his entire future onto the fire in the name of killing that one dude really stupidly dead.
And I love him! 😀