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. 🙂