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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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! 🙂