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Walla
Sep 17, 2017




It always depends on the act layout, but Ironclad and Silent have the best starters, Defect is about 50/50 on swap and Watcher always benefits from a swap.

I don't think you can get the upgraded versions on a swap. I seem to remember a streamer saying they weren't an option in the code

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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Walla posted:

I don't think you can get the upgraded versions on a swap. I seem to remember a streamer saying they weren't an option in the code

You can't, but the actual reason is simpler: you can't be offered the upgraded starter relic if you don't have the basic version to replace. As Neow's boon requires you to give up the starter relic as the cost, you therefore cannot receive it as the reward.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


So following the advice given of avoiding normal fights as much as possible in act 2 I've managed to make it to Act 3 for the first time in a good while, anything I should keep in mind before progressing into this next act?

Zore
Sep 21, 2010




drrockso20 posted:

So following the advice given of avoiding normal fights as much as possible in act 2 I've managed to make it to Act 3 for the first time in a good while, anything I should keep in mind before progressing into this next act?

It has a mix between some of the best and worst events in the game and some absolutely brutal elite fights. Normal fights are really simple but the elites basically test you to make sure your deck has AoE, burst and scaling. Its probably the simplest act to path through overall, usually your deck is pretty online if you've beaten the Act 2 bosses and the only real challenges you face in Act 3 are Reptomancer or the Boss depending on your deck

Mons Hubris
Aug 29, 2004

fanci flup :)




The one guy in Act 3 who changes his intent every time he takes damage wrecks me pretty often but otherwise yeah.

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


Repto's not so bad before AR18, imo nemesis and head caused more trouble for me. AR18+ she is the run killer.

little munchkin
Aug 15, 2010


drrockso20 posted:

So following the advice given of avoiding normal fights as much as possible in act 2 I've managed to make it to Act 3 for the first time in a good while, anything I should keep in mind before progressing into this next act?

check the boss, two of the a3 bosses have a nasty gimmick (awakened one hates powers, time eater hates you casting multiple spells), so you should be adjusting your picks away from the things the boss doesn't like. the donut bosses are a damage/defense check with a bunch of artifact stacks, so you can kind of prioritize things differently for them too

act 3 is generally a bit easier than act 2 unless you've really neglected elite fights. you're mostly just looking to put the final touches on your build to take on the boss and possibly the heart.

Zoracle Zed
Jul 10, 2001


NihilCredo posted:

What do you guys usually pick for the starter boon? (When trying hard)

my approach when I'm in tryhard mode is to flip back and forth between the options and the map, imagining a skeptical onlooker, and constructing a narrative to convince the onlooker that my choice is maximizing P[kill Heart]. imo the 1hp option is usually bad at this unless you have the opportunity to do it to two elites in a row.

In non tryhard mode I'm just slamming the relic swap button.

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



I'm convinced that IC has the best starter relic. Meat on the Bone is a complete run changer, and it is half a Meat that activates in 100% of fights.

Different classes like different bonuses, but I think the best overall option is giving up max hp for 250 gold. There's no immediate downside to giving up max hp at high ascension, since you don't lose current hp, and 250 gold + the 99 starter gold means you can have a very high impact shop within the first few floors, which I find to be more reliably impactful than a random rare relic or choosing a rare card. You have so many options, so many directions you can go when you get to a shop very early with 400 gold.

You can buy multiple cards and remove a card, which will give your deck a clear identity before you even get to the first elite. You can buy 2 good common/shop relics and a potion. You can buy a rare relic and a potion. Potentially run-defining stuff, and since you're choosing from a smorgasbord of options, there's less variance than the other options that require you to take a downside. But there's still some variance, and sometimes the shop just completely sucks. And sometimes there's no reasonable route with a shop.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Well made it to the Act 3 boss and got wrecked by a boss that felt unfair even by this game's standards

If they ever make a sequel they really need to add an easy mode for people like me who like this style of game but don't like hard games

Zore
Sep 21, 2010




drrockso20 posted:

Well made it to the Act 3 boss and got wrecked by a boss that felt unfair even by this game's standards

If they ever make a sequel they really need to add an easy mode for people like me who like this style of game but don't like hard games

Which one did you hit?

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Zore posted:

Which one did you hit?

The snail, he hits way too hard and has way too much health for a boss with his type of gimmick

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



drrockso20 posted:

The snail, he hits way too hard and has way too much health for a boss with his type of gimmick

Time Eater doesn't hit all that hard to begin with. He just increases in strength the more cards you play, and even that can be mitigated by reducing his strength on the turn after he drops below 50% HP. There's two main ways to beat him. One is to knock him down to near 50% HP and then string together one or two big turns to kill him before he can heal; the other is to build a deck that scales faster than he does, preferably passively. You didn't tell us which character you were playing, but for Ironclad the easiest methods are Barricade/Body Slam or Demon Form with heavy block and a few big attacks; for Silent it's Catalyst poison; Defect does it best with Frost Orbs and focus gain; and Watcher just does Watcher things.

the holy poopacy
May 16, 2009



Fun Shoe

No Wave posted:

Repto's not so bad before AR18, imo nemesis and head caused more trouble for me. AR18+ she is the run killer.

:agreed: I was very confused by reptomancer talk until I hit A18

nrook
Jun 25, 2009

Just let yourself become a worthless person!

My feelings towards act 3 elites are a bit complicated, by which I mean that I don't respect either nemesis or giant head even though I still regularly get destroyed by both of them

military cervix
Dec 24, 2006

Hey guys


nrook posted:

My feelings towards act 3 elites are a bit complicated, by which I mean that I don't respect either nemesis or giant head even though I still regularly get destroyed by both of them

My worst watcher loss was setting myself up to gain 5 mantra every turn against the nemesis, ensuring that I was always in divinity stance when he (she?) was intangible. Felt bad.

NihilCredo
Jun 6, 2011

iram omni possibili modo preme:
plus una illa te diffamabit, quam multæ virtutes commendabunt



Why is everybody saying the Silent starter relic is great? T1 I'm almost always constrained by energy, not cards. While there's a couple relic like Lantern which give you extra T1 energy to spend, there are far more options to boost the quality of your opening hand (Innates, Bottled X, Secret X). A somewhat higher chance of drawing e.g. Noxious Fumes on T1 is OK I guess, but it's far from a big deal if I draw it a turn later.

military cervix posted:

My worst watcher loss was setting myself up to gain 5 mantra every turn against the nemesis, ensuring that I was always in divinity stance when he (she?) was intangible. Felt bad.

The one time I tried the Searing Blow deck I of course drew it three times in a row while he was intangible. But TBF it was a pretty weak run because I had zero Headbutts.

NihilCredo fucked around with this message at 07:41 on Sep 14, 2021

AlphaKeny1
Feb 17, 2006



Over the weekend I was able to beat the diamond and donut shapes and also unlock everything for ironclad. I really favor strength builds and my go to nuke has been whirlwind so far.

I found out that thorns are the most annoying and unfun in the game for me, and I also got stomped hard by time eater so I need to learn that fight more.

I had a lot of fun with the daily for ironclad today and got about 860 points! How do you get more than 1000?

Now it is time to learn the silent, I'm going in blind.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Thorns suck to go against(thankfully they seem to be pretty rare) but having them for your own use is great

Zore
Sep 21, 2010




NihilCredo posted:

Why is everybody saying the Silent starter relic is great? T1 I'm almost always constrained by energy, not cards. While there's a couple relic like Lantern which give you extra T1 energy to spend, there are far more options to boost the quality of your opening hand (Innates, Bottled X, Secret X). A somewhat higher chance of drawing e.g. Noxious Fumes on T1 is OK I guess, but it's far from a big deal if I draw it a turn later.

The one time I tried the Searing Blow deck I of course drew it three times in a row while he was intangible. But TBF it was a pretty weak run because I had zero Headbutts.

Drawing more cards is insanely strong. Drawing more cards on turn one is a perk you will benefit from in every single fight in the game. It is literally the only starter relic that will always positively benefit you in every single fight in your run.

Like no, you often won't be able to play every card but just being able to see 2 more helps prevent dead turn one hands and as your deck grows bigger gives you more chances to hit powers you want to play early in a fight (Fumes, Well Laid Plans etc) that will have an enormous impact on how the rest of the fight goes.


Its a powerful benefit in every single fight in the game. Meanwhile compare it to the Ironclad who's healing is worthless if you don't take damage, or Defect who's orb might do 0-6 damage if you clear the fight in one turn without evoking it. And there are a lot of fights, specifically against the Act 4 Elites, The Heart, Time Eater, where missing an important card early can be the difference between winning and losing the run. Hell even just consider some of the Act 2 hallway fights, having a better chance to draw defensive cards so you don't take 21 from the avacado can be enormous for your survivability.

Its equivalent to Bag of Prep which is easily the best common relic in the game by a mile and could reasonably be bumped up to rare.

Zore fucked around with this message at 08:14 on Sep 14, 2021

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



NihilCredo posted:

Why is everybody saying the Silent starter relic is great? T1 I'm almost always constrained by energy, not cards. While there's a couple relic like Lantern which give you extra T1 energy to spend, there are far more options to boost the quality of your opening hand (Innates, Bottled X, Secret X). A somewhat higher chance of drawing e.g. Noxious Fumes on T1 is OK I guess, but it's far from a big deal if I draw it a turn later.

It isn't great. After all, it's just Bag of Preparation, which is a common relic. Now I'd never turn my nose up at a Bag, but the other classes have a starter relic that is at least better than a common relic if not roughly equivalent to an uncommon relic.

Worse, the Silent starter deck is weaker than anyone else's - it has less damage and 12 cards of poo poo against everyone else's 10. She actually needs her starter relic just to be equivalent to the other classes in terms of hitting her second deck cycle. So it's more that you're worse if you don't have it than that you become better because you do have it.

military cervix
Dec 24, 2006

Hey guys


NihilCredo posted:

Why is everybody saying the Silent starter relic is great? T1 I'm almost always constrained by energy, not cards. While there's a couple relic like Lantern which give you extra T1 energy to spend, there are far more options to boost the quality of your opening hand (Innates, Bottled X, Secret X). A somewhat higher chance of drawing e.g. Noxious Fumes on T1 is OK I guess, but it's far from a big deal if I draw it a turn later.

It drastically reduces the variability of the opening hand, which is really important. This helps you get set up quickly, but also lowers the risk of getting murdered. At some point you're going to run into slavers in act 2 and draw two powers, ascender's bane and two attacks, ensuring that you take 30+ damage. Having a big deck to thin out your scaling cards is one way to counter that variability, drawing bigger hands is the other.

Walla
Sep 17, 2017




Silent's starter relic may be "just" a bag of prep, but every character is improved by having a bag of prep and she can potentially have 2 which is huge.

Also Silent may have the weakest starting deck, but she is the only character who can consistently perfect a floor 1 jaw worm.

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


I think silent's is by far the most swappable (after watcher) because it's not key to her early game like burning blood and cracked orb are. Losing BB and cracked orb can put you in real danger in act 1 in a way that losing ring of the serpent doesn't. Obviously serpent is best late game but that's a later problem.

the holy poopacy
May 16, 2009



Fun Shoe

AlphaKeny1 posted:

Over the weekend I was able to beat the diamond and donut shapes and also unlock everything for ironclad. I really favor strength builds and my go to nuke has been whirlwind so far.

I found out that thorns are the most annoying and unfun in the game for me, and I also got stomped hard by time eater so I need to learn that fight more.

I had a lot of fun with the daily for ironclad today and got about 860 points! How do you get more than 1000?

Now it is time to learn the silent, I'm going in blind.

A big chunk of your score is getting perfect kills (no damage taken) against as many elites and bosses as possible.

You can ramp it up further with deck construction bonuses; for score you either want no duplicates in your deck (outside of strike/defend) or as many 4x duplicates as possible. For added challenge, if you have at least 50 cards you get bonus points, and for even more added challenge if you have at least 5 curses you get more. Some of the daily modifiers make these a lot easier or even practically automatic.

There are also various score rewards for collecting a ton of money/relics, for doing a single massive damage attack, for playing 20+ cards in a single turn, and maybe a few other in-game feats.

Cpt_Obvious
Jun 18, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 38 hours!


Walla posted:

Silent's starter relic may be "just" a bag of prep, but every character is improved by having a bag of prep and she can potentially have 2 which is huge.

Also Silent may have the weakest starting deck, but she is the only character who can consistently perfect a floor 1 jaw worm.

I think this is more a result of silent's defensive abilities being very good against hallway fights than their starter relic (although it combos well with the 0 cost card they start with). They start with access to weakness and a relatively powerful block card. There's also the fact that if the IC loses 4 health in that fight he actually gains 2 by the end due to burning blood. For this reason I've started prioritizing hallways in act 1.Will report back.

Bag of prep is great and can benefit everyone, but 6 health a fight is generally much better. However some fights that need to be completed quickly, like gremlin nob and slavers for example, bag of prep can definitely save you more than 6 health by just finishing the most dangerous part of the fight 1 round earlier.

Carbolic
Apr 19, 2007

This song is about how America chews the working man up and spits him in the dirt to die

Zore posted:

Its a powerful benefit in every single fight in the game. Meanwhile compare it to the Ironclad who's healing is worthless if you don't take damage, or Defect who's orb might do 0-6 damage if you clear the fight in one turn without evoking it. And there are a lot of fights, specifically against the Act 4 Elites, The Heart, Time Eater, where missing an important card early can be the difference between winning and losing the run. Hell even just consider some of the Act 2 hallway fights, having a better chance to draw defensive cards so you don't take 21 from the avacado can be enormous for your survivability.

Its equivalent to Bag of Prep which is easily the best common relic in the game by a mile and could reasonably be bumped up to rare.

Not saying it isn't useful, but I don't agree with the idea that Silent's starter relic gives a guaranteed benefit and the other starting relics don't. There's no guarantee the two extra cards you draw with Silent are going to be ones you pick. By contrast, even if you are entering a fight as Ironclad at full health, knowing you are going to heal 6 HP at the end gives you flexibility the whole fight knowing that you can tank some damage in order to get out other cards. It's only worthless if you are already totally dominating the enemy.

the holy poopacy
May 16, 2009



Fun Shoe

re: starting relic chat, I find it interesting that in spirelogs' data set boss swap for Watcher is relatively less successful at A17+ than boss swap for Ironclad or Silent. On the one hand, there are a lot of caveats to any conclusion you can draw from spirelogs especially for the watcher. On the other hand, this fits my preconceived notions so you should accept it as gospel, tia

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



Silent's relic doesn't help much in act 1, so it's a reasonable swap, but it's pretty darn good once you have more energy and you have really strong cards you want to play early. I'm more inclined to swap it if I see a 3 or 4 elite act 1 path that I really want to take, since most swaps will make me stronger in act 1.

Re: best common relic: It might be Bag of Prep, but I think Happy Flower and Preserved Insect are also candidates. I think those 3 are clearly the best. Of course, Insect's value depends a lot on when you get it.

NihilCredo
Jun 6, 2011

iram omni possibili modo preme:
plus una illa te diffamabit, quam multæ virtutes commendabunt



I haven't run the number, but I got the impression that there are more enemies who cast buffs/debuffs on turn 1 and then attack on turn 2, than there are who immediately make powerful attacks on turn 1. Nob, Lagavulin, Head, cultists, birds, Snecko, Heart of course... Which is why the Cleats relic (the one that gives you 14 block on T2) is one of my favourites, and why I'm not convinced of Silent's starter being so good.

I suspect that those who do immediately attack tend to be 'holy poo poo' moments (eg slavers) so they stick around.

Although now that I think about it, maybe it's an Ascension thing? I'm only at Asc3 so far (I want to get a heart kill on every char before climbing), so maybe at higher ascension levels some enemies change strategies?

the holy poopacy
May 16, 2009



Fun Shoe

NihilCredo posted:

I haven't run the number, but I got the impression that there are more enemies who cast buffs/debuffs on turn 1 and then attack on turn 2, than there are who immediately make powerful attacks on turn 1. Nob, Lagavulin, Head, cultists, birds, Snecko, Heart of course... Which is why the Cleats relic (the one that gives you 14 block on T2) is one of my favourites, and why I'm not convinced of Silent's starter being so good.

I suspect that those who do immediately attack tend to be 'holy poo poo' moments (eg slavers) so they stick around.

Although now that I think about it, maybe it's an Ascension thing? I'm only at Asc3 so far (I want to get a heart kill on every char before climbing), so maybe at higher ascension levels some enemies change strategies?

tbh I'm pretty sure that higher ascension enemies are more likely to debuff turn 1. But the big value is less about the odds of drawing block cards when you need them and more about getting your powers and setup skills out faster. Even if you don't draw them turn 1, you're still 2 cards further into your deck on turn 2, turn 3, etc.

Dyz
Dec 10, 2010


Then there's the avacado, who does both.

Cpt_Obvious
Jun 18, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 38 hours!


NihilCredo posted:

I haven't run the number, but I got the impression that there are more enemies who cast buffs/debuffs on turn 1 and then attack on turn 2, than there are who immediately make powerful attacks on turn 1. Nob, Lagavulin, Head, cultists, birds, Snecko, Heart of course... Which is why the Cleats relic (the one that gives you 14 block on T2) is one of my favourites, and why I'm not convinced of Silent's starter being so good.

I suspect that those who do immediately attack tend to be 'holy poo poo' moments (eg slavers) so they stick around.

Although now that I think about it, maybe it's an Ascension thing? I'm only at Asc3 so far (I want to get a heart kill on every char before climbing), so maybe at higher ascension levels some enemies change strategies?

There's plenty of stuff to do on free turns tho. Dropping powers or damage becomes a lot easier when you have more cards. In fact, a good portion of your deck are effectively wounds when you aren't taking damage, so the extra card draw is even more important to get the most use out of those turns.

Efb

Cpt_Obvious
Jun 18, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 38 hours!


Goddamn, every time I hop onto silent I am reminded how completely differently the class plays. Just lost 3 runs in a row without getting to act 2.

Walla
Sep 17, 2017




Cpt_Obvious posted:

I think this is more a result of silent's defensive abilities being very good against hallway fights than their starter relic (although it combos well with the 0 cost card they start with). They start with access to weakness and a relatively powerful block card.

The answer is both actually.

You can fight a jaw worm on floor 1. Jaw Worms always do 12 damage on the first turn, on every Ascension. IC, Defect and Watcher can always potentially draw 0 block cards but the Silent will always draw a minimum of 2 block cards. Silent is also the only character who can full block this attack and deal 15 damage back with only her starting relic and deck.

Hell, doing the math the most amount of damage a jaw worm can do to the Silent on turn 1 is 3, if she draws a Defend, Neutralize and 5 strikes. When you only have 66 hit points to work with, that's kind of a big deal.

Being able to draw 2 extra cards means an innate ability doesn't have as big of an impact, because you're still drawing a full hand.

My favorite Silent run had Bag of Prep, 4 copies of Backstab, 1 innate power and 1 of every bottle. 8 innate cards and 1 random draw made every turn 1 the same but it was a lot of fun.

I'm not saying the Silent's starter is the best, but 2 extra cards on turn 1 is huge from Floor 1 to the Heart and she's the easiest character for me to play. The boss relic upgrade is categorically worse though.

Walla
Sep 17, 2017




Cpt_Obvious posted:

Goddamn, every time I hop onto silent I am reminded how completely differently the class plays. Just lost 3 runs in a row without getting to act 2.

That's kind of how I feel about Ironclad. He's just so drat slow and I can't get a good handle on how to play him.

GlyphGryph
Jun 23, 2013


The problem with the Silent relic is that Silent also has some really good card draw cards, which means an extra energy will let you net you many more draws per battle if you nab some of it, which you should. One card on one turn, even the first turn, just can't compare to that, and an extra energy often means you get to draw MORE cards turn one than the relic alone would let you. And if you really need something other than turn draw right this moment, you can use it for that instead!

Ironclad relic is really good, but also getting an extra energy for ironclad early on is so loving amazing for just crushing Act 1 on higher ascensions.

I honestly really like the "enemies to 1hp" boon a ton though, on higher difficulties, if I can get even a single elite fight in. Getting multiple rooms in and a relic before taking any damage is just... really nice at taking a bunch of pressure off.

Walla
Sep 17, 2017




It also really heavily depends on what's being offered and the act layout as well. But I am prone to slam picking a common relic because it might be Bronze Scales or Bag of Prep, and no matter what it is it's going to do something and get you deeper into the relic pool.

And I agree that IC and Watcher are extremely energy hungry. Give me a Sozu or Cursed Key start any time.

Zore
Sep 21, 2010




Honestly Watcher and Defect are the two characters I think can most easily get by without a boss energy relic. Watcher just has so many insane ways of gaining energy through stance dancing that base energy rarely feels like a meaningful drawback unless you get ridiculously unlucky. Defect similarly can mostly passively scale off of orbs.

Ironclad meanwhile I don't think I've ever won without an energy relic or at the very least Snecko eye. Ditto Silent.

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No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


I think snecko ironclad is the strongest character in the game. Climbing with him is inevitable because you'll get it act 1 eventually....

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