Getting the Hell Frontier Boss Prize, the True Cross Way

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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! 😀

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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.

Honor Questing in Saint’s Tower w/ Ranger Song

Maze: Saint’s Tower — Because it’s easy to get to F100 when you have +50 Atk and Pwr and +500 HP and MP. Also, the Workshops here let you level up Elemental Suits, and you can Steal parts of the Light and Dark suits here, so it’s the place to go if you need a Dark and/or Light suit for Honor Questing.

Purpose: To get the Honor Quests ‘Take a Ranger Song team to F100,’ ‘Obtain the Dark Suit,’ ‘max out Great Swordsman,’ and ‘max out Pope.’

Main Gumball: Divine Dragon — I knew I was going Pope for the XP, and I figured that would take me through Light Master, so the free Divine Favors from the Dragon would be super useful. Also, the 20% boost to MP from Primary Dragon would add to the value of Magic Toffee.

Soul Link 1: Lionheart King — Because if you’re going to have Dragon titles tacked on to your usual set, you might as well make them cheap. Also, this makes the XP quest for Great Swordsman 30% less annoying. 🙂

Soul Link 2: Kaito — Because I’m planning on stealing the parts of the Dark Suit from the mobs in Saint’s Tower.

Magic Title: Priest –> Light Master –> Pope — For the XP! Also, this will make it much easier to nuke down the boss in his Dark phase.

Melee Title: Knight of Faith –> Armored Knight –> Light Paladin — Because I want those Divine Favors to achieve maximum value, and getting a bunch more doesn’t hurt, either.

Venture Title: Rune Master –> Weapon Master –> Great Swordsmith — 15% more Holy Bolts sounds like winning, the 15% Counterattack Prevention stacks neatly with the Crystal Shoes and Crystal Dress, and Swordsmith’s Runes read “beat one floor free of charge,” so 9 of them will get me from F91 to F100 easy-peasy. (Actually, one floor I did punch enemies in the face for so long that the dungeon nearly collapsed on me…got out on my 98th turn!)

Dragon Title: Medium Dragon Bloodline — Because I had them, and I had the EP to buy them. 🙂

Artifact: Ring of Great Enchanter — Not useful for my classes, but between the treasures of Saint’s Tower and the pieces of the Dark Suit, I was limited to choosing between Rings and Gloves, and I wanted to get plenty of Power but also recognized that a little Attack is vital for punching your way past the early game.

Potion: Mixture of Light and Dark — Because it’s the only way to eke any more utility out of those Divine Favors and also Pope.

Other Gear: I used the Crystal Shoes and Crystal Dress to reduce enemy counterattacks so that I could keep punching faces for as long as possible, for to conserve spells. I did successfully build the Dark Suit, but ended up discarding everything but the Voodoo Cloak, which I kept because it’s one of the few ways to get Power (instead of MP) out of the Cloak slot. I also wore the Magic Boy’s Glasses for the same reason.

I ended up carrying around a Dark Book as treasure, and swapping it out for a Skullcap Wand whenever I had to heal myself (15% healing magic boost FTW). I also swapped out my Voodoo Cloak for an Oracle’s Cape when it came time to kill bosses, and my artifact ring for a Ring of Faith whenever I had to heal myself.

The Run-Down: I basically facepunched everything from F1-F59 (except the boss). Even with my miserably low Attack, I forced my way through in melee, relying on massive counterattack reduction and the fact that Divine Favor basically took me from single-digit HP to near full in a single cast. Then, I cast my one PoE to go back 27 floors because I didn’t quite feel ready for the F60 boss. Looking back, I have no idea why I felt that way because the bosses were the easiest part of this run by far. Getting +100% effect Holy Bolts (+75% from Pope and +25% from Oracle’s Cape) that double-cast themselves (thanks Pope) meant that the F30, F40, and F50 bosses dropped before they could take an action, and the F60 and F70 bosses dropped before they could take two actions. 🙂

It was F49 that I realized I had gotten level 5 in all four of Saint’s Towers custom buffing spells, and I had 7 Magic Toffees, so it was time. I cast 10x “Give me 50 MP,” used a couple of Toffees, cast 10x “Give me 5 Power,” used a couple of Toffees, cast 10x “Give me 50 HP,” used a couple of Toffees, cast 10x “Give me 5 Attack,” used a single Toffee, and moved on to kill the F50 boss with a smile in my heart.

Title-wise, I drove straight to Pope, then backfilled Magic Apprentice and Light Master. Then I took 3 stars of Novice Warrior, one star of Knight, Knight of Faith, and Armored Knight, and then backfilled Knight of Faith for more Power. Then I took one star each of Fortune Finder and Explorationist, all three stars of Rune Master (for more Holy Bolts!), one star of Weapon Master, and one star in Great Swordsmith. Then I filled in ALL of the Dragon Titles, went back to obtain every point of HP that I could from everywhere before taking Light Paladin, went back to obtain every point of Power that I could, and finally just filled in everything else pretty randomly. I maxxed out my Titles completely around F92.

Once I got below F60, I started using the Roar spells to snipe off ranged attackers, and facepunched the melee attackers until F81. Burned through about half my enormous backstock of Divine Favors (yes, I refilled my 1200+ HP more than once per floor on average!) Then I used the Roar spells to kill basically everything until F91. 10 MP to cast a spell doesn’t mean sh!t when you’ve got 1500 MP. Literally made up all the MP with a single Magic Toffee on F89. 😀

F91-99, as mentioned, fell like wheat to a series of 9 straight Swordsman’s Runes. The only danger was nearly collapsing the dungeon on myself killing a pair of 1200-HP Rock Golems with attacks that were dealing 27 damage each.

The bosses dropped easily to a basic run of Electrostatic Field, Disrupting Ray, and endless Holy Bolts until F80. The F80 boss I had to futz around a little with an Aurora Barrier and a couple of Icicles. The F90 boss was a genuine pain in the ass, requiring multiple switches back and forth between nuking the Dark-side boss with Holy Bolts, then switching to the Light side for a Divine Favor (which at this point was an automatic trip to full life), another Electrostatic Field, and another Disrupting Ray, then a switch back to the Dark Side. Also several Stoneskins and a couple more Aurora Barriers.

Oh, and Timestill. I Timestilled the F80 boss once and the F90 boss twice. It’s crucial to know that Timestill prevents the boss’s “hurt you badly” aura from going off, so it’s a clutch tool for ekeing out the last three Holy Bolts when you’re about to die.

I quit when I reached the F100 boss. I’m 100% sure I could have beaten him if I had devoted 15 minutes to it, but I had accomplished all four of the Honor Quests I started out to achieve…and besides, I had a dungeon in the brand-new Elemental Event go to clear out before it reset. 🙂

Experimental Run: ALL the EP!

Maze: Dracula’s Castle

Purpose: To see what it looks like to go bat-sh!t crazy on EP-gaining and EP-cost-reduction mechanisms while making some side progress toward Dracula’s Castle’s DP quests.

Main Gumball: Minstrel — Needed my Venture title to be first so I could rush straight to Magic Bandit. Also Farplane Ranger.

Soul Link 1: Lionheart King — Because a 30% EP reduction on your two expensive titles (three if you find Dragon’s Power) is simply the biggest total EP reduction in the game.

Soul Link 2: Saladin — Because there’s only one Magic-type pokemon in Ranger’s Song that gives any kind of positive EP effect, and that’s Saladin’s ability to turn Rank 5 spells into 300 EP.

Venture Title: Night Walker –> Magic Bandit –> Farplane Ranger — Bought up to Farplane Ranger on the first floor so I could get that sweet bonus Relic. Then went back and filled in Magic Bandit, then filled in all three stars of Magic Apprentice, then filled in all the back levels of all the lower Venture Titles.

Melee Title: Sword Dancer –> Sword Master –> Sword Sage — Stupid bats. Dodge THIS! I filled in every level in order up to Sword Sage, then paused to take every single level of every single attack-boosting

Magic Title: Priest –> Light Master –> Pope — For to slaughter the boss with huge double-Holy Bolts.

Artifact: Crown of Pope — Because I didn’t have any headgear, and blasting things to death with big light spells seemed like a good idea.

Potion: Potion of Great Designer — Because I needed to clear 400 bonus EP to get Farplane Ranger before searching Dracula’s corpse.

Relics: Mutu’s Belt, Corrosive Bracelet, Talking Puppet, Stupid Spear Ring — I took all items that had ‘Cast this spell X times,’ because those are the most annoying DP quests I have left.

Other Gear: I literally purchased every single item from every single shop. Treasure shops, scroll shops, purple-castle Dracula-specific shops…everything. Because why not?

Final Notes: Turns out that when you max out your EP gains to this bat-sh!t insane degree, you run out of Titles to buy by floor 60. Even with the purchasing of every damn thing. So yeah…I quit because I had blown my wad too early and nothing really left to do. The mission was to learn, and I did. Conclusion: don’t do this.  🙂 😀 XD