An introduction to Tainted Magdelene
As everyone and their left nut knows by now, Tainted Maggy has the unique ability of being able to deal melee damage on contact with enemies (called “hugging” in game). However, she still takes contact damage from them in return. To offset this, 2 out of her 4 red hearts are replaced with temporary red hearts, which can be healed in all ways that regular red hearts can, with the added bonus that they have no effect on things such as devil/angel room chances.
As with most tainted characters, she starts with a special active item that occupies a pill/card slot instead of the normal active item slot, that being a buffed version of the original Maggy’s Yum Heart. Instead of simply healing 1 red heart, it heals 2 (enough to completely refill her temporary hearts!). A tainted character’s special active item is still subject to all passives that directly affect your actives, which brings us to the first piece of this really simple puzzle.
Maggy’s Convent Experience
By simply taking the item “Habit,” Maggy goes from being able to heal for 2 hearts every 4 rooms, to being able to heal 2 hearts every 4 times she takes damage. If those 4 times taking damage are all due to contact damage, then she will have also dealt damage to her attacker (Her “hug” ability can be used during i-frames, meaning she will have most likely hit her enemy more than 4 times). By consistently ramming head first into her enemies, Maggy will not only deal high damage, but will also be nigh invincible in most situations. Most situations.
As we all know, nearly every source of damage from The Womb on will deal a full hearts worth of damage, meaning she’ll be dead before she can get her Yum Heart off every time. Of course, if you’ve gotten health up items before reachin this point she won’t be dead in the beginning, but her Yum Heart’s heal will still only equal half of the damage she’s taking. There is, however, a simple way to circumvent this problem.
Nuns like cookies too!
Honestly, I don’t actually know what nuns even do, so the title of this section may very well be a total lie. Regardless, I myself enjoy a good cookie every now and then, and probably my favorite cookie is the Wafer. It may taste like nothing but 1’s and 0’s, but by halving all damage taken the effect of the Yum Heart + Habit combo can once again completely out heal all damage you could possibly be taking from spamming your hug ability.
I know what you’re probably thinking. “But Tainted Maggy has a passive where getting kills drop a quickly fading half heart on the ground, so it doesn’t matter! She gets healed by getting kills anyway!” While all this may be true, it doesn’t help at all once you reach the Womb, or during long-lasting boss fights (which are, in my opinion, Tainted Maggy’s greatest weakness). Sure, you can just use your regular tears for that, but with her naturally low base DPS you may as well have just played a different character completely. If you aren’t going to use her main gimmick, why play the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ character? Of course there are other ways to keep her hug’s use up into the endgame, but the guide ain’t over yet bucko. There’s still another item to throw into this little cement mixer of sheer power.
This is where the fun begins
One particularly interesting aspect of the Habit is its ability to charge both your spacebar and Q key active items at the same time. On Tainted Maggy, it can mean not only having infinite sustainability, but also an infinitely charging item used for different purposes. The possibilities with this second active slot are nearly endless, only really limited by the amount of other active items in the game.
What’s better than being completely invincible? How about making your enemies unable to even fight back? For this specific combo, the active of choice is the time stopping “Pause” item. The item halts all movement for the duration of a room, with an absurdly low cooldown of 2 rooms (or, in our case, 2 hits). Normally, the affect of the item ends immediately when attacking with your regular tears, but Maggy’s hugs are still fair game! And don’t worry, contact damage can still be taken to keep the Yum Hearts constantly flowing. Time can only be stopped for up to 30 seconds at a time, but the item will be fully charged once again long before any of that happens.
Below are a couple of examples of the combo being used against some endgame bosses, just to show how powerful it really is. As you can clearly see, the only items held are the items mentioned earlier in the guide. However, by the time you actually reach these points in a run, you’ll obviously have many more items that supplement your damage, and will be able to get these fights done and over with significantly faster.
In conclusion, Habit completely breaks Tainted Maggy. Even without the Pause item, it can still allow her to heal much more than anyone should ever be allowed to. Pause is nothing more than icing on the metaphorical cake in terms of just how powerful the character really can be. I encourage anyone who happens to read this to play the absolute ♥♥♥♥ out of the character. Even without Habit she’s an absolute blast.
I’m a feminist.
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