80/80ing Dracula’s Closet…as a Time Lord! (For real this time!)

Maze: Dracula’s Castle

Purpose: Finish this bitch off.

Main Gumball: Vampire Hunter. Both of my soul-links are baby-fresh to my team, so neither is fed anything but the foods necessary to get their Exclusive Skills to level 5. Also, Vampire Hunter is the single best Gumball to have for Dracula’s Closet, because of the +3 Essence Blood per floor and the utility of 30% Dodge Reduction from Vampire Hunter’s Potion.

Soul-Link 1: Claw — Because I just purchased him and I have no idea how he works. Here’s how he works: You gain 3 Energy while attacking, to a cap of 99. You can spend 50 Energy to turn into a Great Bear (his icon changes, too, which is pretty sweet!). Once you’ve transformed, you gain +50% to attack, and +10% to avoid enemy counterattacks. You also gain the ability to cast Fissure (a 15-mana spell that targets a unit and hits it and and the 8 tiles around it, flipping the 8 tiles and then dealing (attack*1.5) damage to all enemies) and Ancient Roar (a 10-mana spell that reduces the Attack of all visible enemies by [10+(your attack/5)]%, max 50%). You can cast these spells as often as you want, but of course Ancient Roar doesn’t stack with itself (or any other debuff).

I’m going to do a run in the near future for the explicit purpose of finding out whether Fissure is affected by Earth Master. If it is, I will have joy, because I’ve been looking for anything other than Titan Knight that synergizes with Planar Prophet, and Claw might just be it. 🙂

Soul-Link 2: Templar — Because I just earned him and I wanted to see if Time Lord would be worth playing if your Air spells were significantly more powerful.

Venture Title: Rune Master –> Great Swordsman — Because 20% attack avoidance from Novice Warrior + 20% from Vampire Hunter +15% from Great Swordsman (Sometimes +10% more from Great Bear form) is a really nice amount of damage reduction, and every Swordmaster’s Rune is one “kill floor instantly” pass from floor 80+. I took one star in each Title up to the first level of Great Swordsman, then backfilled Rune Master for extra Lightning Bolts and Electrostatic Fields, then Treasure Seeker because it’s quicker to clear floors when you know where the bad guys are.

Melee Title: Magic Warrior –> Dragon Warrior –> Hell God of War — Dragon Warrior because I don’t want no summoned Shadows killing off the Zombie-spawners before they go spawning Zombies. Hell God of War because I want a magic proc and Dark Ripple doesn’t affect undead and Light Arbiter never goes off on bosses. Oh, and because Hunter’s Long Whip stacks with Hell God of War for a max 25% proc, which is nice.

I started with Novice Warrior three-stars, then paused to go Magic Apprentice three stars, then filled out one star of Warrior, Magic Warrior and Dragon Warrior before taking and maxing out the HP stars of Hell God of War. Then it was on to the Magic titles.

Magic Title: Time Lord — I really want this Title to do something…and it did. After taking one star each of White Mage, Priest, and Air Master, I took time Lord, went back and filled in Air Master, then Priest, then the Power stars from Great Swordsmith. (At that point, I cast my one PoE, from F69 back 25 floors to F44.) Then I took the Power stars from Time Lord, and went back to fill in Warrior, then Dragon Warrior, then Magic Warrior. Then I just kind of filled in all the other stuff randomly. I was near Peak Title when I quit on F91.

Time Lord really shines when you have the power to deal serious melee damage and serious magic damage, but you don’t have a lot of HP. Basically, this build is a glass cannon — even given the 45% counterattack-reduction and the 30% Dodge (see below), I still regularly found myself one counterattack away from dying on F67 onward.

That’s when I started throwing around my massive backlog of Lightning Bolts all willy-nilly and using the one round of Timestill to punch the biggest baddest dude on the floor in the face. I burned through the entire stack of Bolts between floors 71 and 83, but it was well worth it, because then I had all of my other normal floor-clearing mechanisms on-hand to get me from F84 to F90. When I found a floor with 3+ ranged enemies, I cast Earthquake and dropped a Chain Lightning or two on the ranged mobs before dropping back to Lightning Bolts.

I got the 9th Artifact on F79, but pressed onward because I still had to find one more Shadow Stone. I got it on F88, used it, and then realized I was one Dragon Ball away from a second wish, so I figured I’d see if I could nail it. I got it as boss loot from the F90 boss, got ‘rich’, and quit on F91 because I was bloody well done with this damn Closet. 🙂

Artifact: Belt of Time Lord — Because the artifact star gives you 4x Electrostatic Field, and that’s just a really nice spell to have a lot of on-hand. And stats were relevant.

Potion: Vampire Hunter’s Potion — Because +6 Attack and Power and -30% enemy Dodge are great.

Relics: Confinement Cage, Spear Ring Thingy, Holy Crown — Because I really wanted the Light Magic boost for Holy Bolts and Divine Favors, I had to cast 3 more Bombs from the Ring and (somehow!) still had 4 more Back in Times left to cast. Oh, and I needed to collect all 9 artifacts in one run. Cake, right?

Actually, it was. I didn’t even get crazy lucky with good Dragon wishes (got two, both not relevant to in-Maze progress.) Between the huge Attack boosts from Claw-form helping me clear 2 floors out of every 10 (and helping vs. the bosses on F30/40/50) with occasional blasts of Meteor Storm and the actually-daunting power of 135%-boosted Electrostatic Fields/Disrupting Rays into 25%-boosted Holy Bolts made the F80/90 bosses actually possible.

Other Gear: As mentioned, I kept the Hunter’s Long Whip, and I used Killer’s Glasses for a while while I maxxed out the Confinement Cage, the Vampire Hunter’s Cloak, and the Corrosive Bracelet in that order. Once I got a few levels into Holy Crown, I switched over to that. I did manage to put together the entire Noble Set and use it starting around the time I PoE’d.

Final Notes: This was a fun run, actually. I think if I were to do it again, I’d choose Mutu’s Belt over Holy Crown, and I’d take Crown of Pope instead of Time Lord’s Belt. Glad to be done with Dracula’s Closet, and turns out that if you’re super-careful about how you build for it, you can actually do something useful and fun with Time Lord. It’s not powerful, so it’s never going to be a mainstream thing, but it’s not at all a poor choice as long as you plan for it. 🙂

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Experimental Run: Burninating the Countryside

Maze: Dracula’s Castle — Yeah, still here, still looking for random DP quests while I’m playing around.

Purpose: To get the highest percentage bonus to Fire spells I can and see what happens.

Main Gumball: Red Dragon — Because being Red Dragon main gives you +40% to Fire Magic when you take the Hell Crimson Reagent. Yeah, my base Power won’t be so hot, but don’t worry — the heat will come.

Soul Link 1: Hellfire — +75% to Fire magic is basically the core of the build.

Soul Link 2: Vampire Hunter — Yes, I could probably have taken Gumiho here, but I wanted a Venture title, and Dracula’s Castle is half Undead, so progress would have been slow anyway. Also, Vampire Hunter’s Blood Contract helps in maxxing out the Relics quite a bit.

Melee Title: Magic Warrior –> Dragon Warrior –> Hell God of War — because Fire magic, obviously. I didn’t want to take Duke of Destruction, because (and yes, this gets a bit obsessive) the Artifact Stars for Hell God of War give you an item called Hell Dust that casts Armageddon followed by a randomly-targeted Meteor Storm…and gives you a permanent +3% boost to all your Fire magic. ;D

I took 3 levels of Novice Warrior, 3 levels of Magic Apprentice, and then took one level each of Warrior, Magic Warrior, Dragon Warrior, and Hell God of War. Then I took all three of the +HP/+Trigger% stars, and then the one Artifact star that I had available to me. Then I moved on to the Magic titles.

Magic Title: Wizard –> Fire Master –> Lord of Elementals — I debated going Mage of Destruction, but Lord of Elementals plays nice with Fist of the Heavens and Holy Bolt, and I figured that might be useful at some point. I took one star each of Black Mage and Wizard, then all three stars of Fire Master and one star of Lord of Elementals, then all three of the +Power stars of LoE. Then I went back and grabbed all three +Power stars of Hell God of War before moving on to the Venture titles.

Venture Title:  Holy Rune Master — for to turn useless Blinds into useful Meteor Swarms and useless Blades of Ruin into useful Armageddons. I never got that far, though. I got all three stars of Treasure Seeker, one star in Explorationist, and three stars in Rune Master. Then I got sidetracked because I remembered that I had Dragon Titles.

Dragon Title: Medium Dragon — All three stars of Wyvern Bloodline and Primary Dragon Bloodline were next. Then I went back and took the +Attack stars of HGoW, and remembered to take one star of Royal Rune Master…then I died on F88.

Artifact: Gloves of War God of Hell — Because they’re named backwards, and that’s awesome. Oh, and that thing about the Hell Dust above.

Potion: Hell Crimson Reagent — Also as mentioned above. +40% boost to Fire magic is what it’s all about.

Relics: Embrace Protection, Corrosive Bracelet, Mutu’s Belt — No real rhyme or reason here, just some stuff that I thought would help me stay alive to achieve maximum burnination.

Other Gear: I did dink around using the Hunter’s Long Whip for a while, since it was an extra +5% for Meteor Swarm, but in the end the much bigger attack and enemy dodge reduction from the Corrosive Bracelet won out. I did acquire and keep a Belt of Electric Arc and a Fire Lizard’s Bracers.

Floor Strategy: Open up all of the enemies that you can, then punch the face of the one with the lowest attack, waiting for long enough that the summoners can summon their zombies. Let your Meteor Swarms clear as much as possible.

Boss Strategy: Swap in the Belt of the Electric Arc and the Fire Lizard’s Bracers.

  1. Electrostatic Field
  2. Meteor Swarm
  3. Meteor Swarm
  4. Icicle
  5. Electrostatic Field (note that if you cast Field while your old Field is still up, your new Field will be even bigger!)
  6. Disrupting Ray
  7. Meteor Swarm
  8. Timestill
  9. (Start over at turn 1.)

Final Notes: I saved up all my Venom Gland Samples and Armageddons to blast from F81 to F88 without really having to do a lot. On F88 I miscalculated (forgot that Werewolves have a chance to counterattack for double damage) and died and decided I didn’t need 5 Soul Reaper fragments for 3 Gems at the moment.

If I was going to do this again, I’d swap out the Corrosive Bracelet for the Nibelungen Spear; I needed more Power more than I needed the +Attack, and the Hunter’s Long Whip would have been a great way to fill my Hand slot for the entire game. Also, having a stun effect that wasn’t Icicle would have felt like I wasn’t cheating on my desire to burn everything to the ground. ;D

It’s always a little counterintuitive for me to take a Melee-statted Gumball main if I’m trying to do mad Magic damage, but ultimately, the survivability provided by Red Dragon was necessary, and because my main offensive weapon was Hell God of War’s Meteor Swarm (so I could save the spellcasting for the Bosses), it turned out to be the right choice. Burninating the countryside wasn’t just a fun experiment — it turned out to be a pretty sweet power play, too.  Win!

Maxing the Unused Relics of Dracula’s Castle w/ Vampire Hunter

Maze: Dracula’s Castle (or as my son insists on calling it, Dracula’s Closet.)

Purpose: Maxxing out my as-yet-unused relics — Nibelungen Spear, Mutu’s Skin, and Talking Puppet (Ring, Belt, Necklace) — while hopefully clearing all of the secondary DP quests related to them as well (i.e. ‘puppet kills stuff,’ ‘Cast Annihilation Bomb 20x”, etc.)

Main Gumball: Vampire Hunter — Normally, Hunter would be a link because he doesn’t actually do anything better as main than as a link, but I haven’t fully-fed the other two gumballs seeing as I unlocked them both yesterday, so my fully-fed VH had to be main. His purpose is twofold: one, get 3x Blood per floor using his Blood Contract, and two, get 20% counterattack-avoidance through his Cape.

Soul Link 1: Red Dragon — His skill lands 50% of the time and prevents the enemy from counterattacking for 3 turns. You’re probably starting to get the gist here. And yes, if you don’t want to spend the gems on Red Dragon, you can get an essentially identical effect by taking Predator and keeping your HP above 50%.

Soul Link 2: Mutant no. 5 — His skill gives 33 energy per floor, and consumes 50 energy to cast a 3-round Timestill. This means 3 enemies killed with no counterattack on a normal floor, or 3 more rounds of beating Boss face without getting counterattacked or attacked. Massive amounts of win here.

 

Venture Title: Rune Master –> Weapon Master –> Great Swordsmith I really wanted to go with Night Walker –> Elf Ranger –> Great Elf King here, to make the Puppet more viable, but ultimately the allure of even more counter-attack-reduction by going Rune Master into Great Swordsman proved irresistable. That said, I didn’t take any of this until I had first obtained 3 stars in Intern Warrior, and 3 stars in Magic Apprentice, for the counter-attack reduction and the full spell use respectively. Then I took one star each of Treasure Seeker (the new name for Fortune Finder, sadly), Explorationist, Rune Master, Weapon Master, and Great Swordsmith.

Magic Title: Wizard –> Conjurer –> Planar Prophet — I knew I would need a big PoE or two to max out multiple Relics, and I wasn’t taking Genie or Future Cat, so Planar Prophet would have to be it. I took one star each in Black Mage, Wizard, and Conjurer, maxed out Earth Master, went back for 3 stars worth of Warrior (which was a mistake, see below) b/c my Attack was too low…and then ended up needing to PoE earlier than I expected, so I took one level of Planar Prophet to get said PoE and said bye-bye to floor 59. (I never saw another PoE, either.)

Melee Title: Magic Warrior –> Dragon Warrior –> Hell God of War — Man, did I screw this up. I had totally planned to go Silver Knight –> Armored Knight –> Titan Knight to take advantage of my Earth Mastery but far more importantly to get my HP up high enough that the 35% heal from a maxxed-out Mutu’s Skin would be enormous. Instead, I unthinkingly took 2 levels of Warrior and promptly went down a floor, sealing myself into the top half of the Melee tree. 😦 If I could do this run again, I would 100% stick with my original plan.

Artifact: Boots of Titan Knight — I already had the Necklace, Ring, and Cloak slots filled up with Relics, so I figured I might as well do something relevant with the Boots slot since none of my Gumballs nor the Maze would fill it usefully. Also, more Dodge plays nicely with the basic idea of “let’s not get hit by anything ever.”

Potion: Vampire Hunter’s Potion — I figured as long as I was taking VH main, I should get an easy +6 Atk and Power out of it. Also, reducing the Dodge of those annoying-ass Bats by 30% was a pretty decent side benefit.

Relics: Nibelungen Spear, Mutu’s Skin, and Talking Puppet (with Vampire Hunter’s Cloak) — The Spear gives Power and ignores more enemy Dodge, so those damn Bats were doing down.  The Annihilation Bomb was pretty damn sweet, too, making short work of the Vampire Lords.

The Talking Puppet gives +MP and a boost to Damage Magic, which I didn’t make much use of. Mostly, it was there for the Puppet. The Puppet’s abilities grow significantly with each level of Ancestral Power. At first, it has a chance to crit for 200% damage. Then it gains the ability to Curse the enemy, which is a huge boost to its survivability. Finally, it gains a healing ability that makes it near-certain to survive to the end of the floor.

Mutu’s Skin is great for healing up, especially when you get hit as infrequently as I did. +12 HP per kill is nothing to be sneezed at, and the bonus to Recovery magic made it actually useful in the later game despite my low Power. The Cell Regeneration ability was nuts, and gave me plenty of reasons to stick with Vampire Hunter’s Blood Contract as my Accessory even into the later floors. I don’t think I’d ever take this Relic without Vampire Hunter in my group, but with VH, it’s amazing. Once you get your Relics to +10 each, the Blood Contract+Mutu’s Skin combo keeps your life ridiculously high.

Other Gear: I ended up running with Killer’s Sunglasses forever just because of the added chance to loot Essence Blood, and the Black Jacket because nothing better came up.

Floor Strategy: Kill all ranged mobs, using spells if I’d take more than 3 hits before they died. Then the path forks. If you have a Magic Dust and a maxxed-out Talking Puppet, use it. There’s no real benefit to waiting. Let your Puppet kill as much as it can before continuing.

Next, if you’re on a floor ending in 7 or less and your Timestill-on-a-stick is full, start revealing enemies. If you see a Werewolf, kill it on the spot — you don’t want it’s attack growing. Once you’ve revealed all of the other enemies, hit Timestill and kill the ones with the biggest attack while time is still.

Otherwise (making sure that at least a couple of tiles are open to receive summoned Zombies) open up one enemy at a time and kill them one at a time, pausing only to allow the summoners to summon their two Zombies. Then kill the Summoner, then the Zombie with less attack, then the other one. Everything else, punch down as soon as you see it.

To deal with Vampire Lord, hit him with Annihilation Bomb if you can, then punch him down while he’s stunned. Otherwise just punch him out.

Drop a heal if you get low on HP, starting with Cures, then using Mutu’s Skin if you’ve maxed it out, then Divine Favor, then Restoration.

Boss Strategy: Round-by-round:

  1. Electrostatic Field
  2. Disrupting Ray
  3. Holy Bolt
  4. Icicle
  5. Bless
  6. Punch
  7. Punch
  8. Timestill-on-a-stick or actual Timestill
  9. Blade of Ruin or Bless
  10. Punch
  11. Punch
  12. Stoneskin
  13. (start over from 1)

If for some reason you get hit by the Dragon’s breath, immediately use Divine Favor — that Corrosive bullshit ain’t no joke.

Final Notes:  First, Mutant no. 5 is f**king BADASS. Timestill-on-a-stick is an amazing tool to give a melee beast. It’s actually sweet enough that I’m already plotting a Time Lord build (yep!) for when I get the last 5 fragments I need for Templar. 🙂

Second, my screwup taking Warrior over Knight was real bad. Totally screwed over my intended long-range survival mechanism of ‘Mutu’s Skin with mad HP’. So the instant I managed to get my 3 Relics leveled up to max (floor 69), I quit. If I had taken my intended path to Titan Knight, I could have easily taken it another 11 floors just for the DP. Next time, Dracula! Next tiiiiiiiimmmmmmmme….!