Which weapon and buffs are best for each role, and when to prioritize them.
This guide is meant to help players who have a decent grasp of the game already and want to see which items they should be looking for to make a solid build. I wrote this mostly for my own benefit to keep track of the good buff items i like to get to compliment certain weapons. This guide is not meant to show how to unlock all of the items, and assumes you know how to evolve them.
Guide contains some spoilers, mostly about all the weapons and their nifty upgrades.
I’ll use the following terms throughout the guide:
Weapon: Items that enter the top row of your character’s inventory. most of these deal damage in some way. Each weapon has a particular firing pattern, some of which change after evolution.
Buff: items that enter the bottom row of your character’s inventory. these all buff your character in some way, usually affecting some but not all of your weapons.
In case you didn’t already know, you can have ONLY 6 weapons and 6 buffs per playthrough, so be careful which ones you accept!
Stages of the game
Early: first 5 minutes or so. focus is on killing as many enemies as possible to collect xp. ideally you should pick up a few weapons and maybe a buff or two.
Mid: 5 minutes in to about 20 minutes in. this is where you’ll know if your build is decent. focus is on leveling up your weapons and filling up the rest of your inventory. ideally you should evolve a useful weapon or two in this period.
Late: final 10 minutes. enemies come in hordes that fill up the whole screen. if your build is good, xp will just pour in, so you can finish upgrading all the less important items in your inventory. and if your build is good enough, you’ll win the game!
So many of these are improved by the power-up “amount” (gives all weapons an additional projectile) that i’m just gonna say it here once: get this power-up asap.
Whip: decent in early game for hunting down enemies, but much more useful in the late game when evolved to bloody tear as a way to gain health that i always get hollow heart if i get the whip. however, it really only shines with extra projectiles via duplicator ring where the extra attacks come out above your character, so some positioning of your character is required to maximize its effectiveness. Candelabrador for increased whip size helps too. overall not gonna be the most dps of your weapons but adds some safety in the late game.
Magic wand: great pickup in the early game to kill nearby weak enemies. in mid to late game can help focus down tougher enemies who get through your crowd control, and feels especially good once it upgrades to pass through enemies. the evolution is just a better version of it and it worth getting the empty tome anyway to improve all your other weapons’ cool-downs. overall deals a good amount of dps.
Knife: pretty good in the early and mid game to snipe enemies and bosses, but once in the late game it just is too directional to help with the hordes of monsters. its better when its upgraded and evolved where it passes through enemies, but in every case i’d rather have the magic wand so i don’t have to worry about positioning so much. deals an avg amount of dps.
Axe: not great in early game, needs clumps of enemies to really make a difference. but once evolved to death spiral it completely changes its attack pattern into, well, a death spiral. after that its actually great at crowd control, and benefits a lot from bracer and empty tome to speed it up. once evolved can deal a crazy good amount of dps, and even take the place of the king biblia.
Cross: decent in the early and mid game, fills a similar role to bones or runetracer. its evolution deals tons of damage but it loses most of its projectiles so it doesn’t keep up with the quantity of monsters in the late game. If you get this you better have the amount power-up and make sure to grab duplicator ring and of course clover and it becomes one of the highest dps weapons out there.
King Biblia: not super impressive at first in the early game, but once upgraded a few times it starts to make a huge difference in crowd control. once there’s enough bibles and it spins at a decent speed, it lets you run into clumps of enemies and mow them down. very satisfying. the evolution is just better and usually worth getting spellbinder for. bracer helps it some but is not necessary. deals a huge amount of dps and adds so much ease to the mid to late game.
Fire wand: not as useful as the magic wand in the early game as its missiles are random, but once upgraded and especially evolved it can help with crowd control in the mid to late game. spinach is pretty good away so you might as well get it if you get the fire wand. deals good dps.
Peachone/Ebony wings: basically the same thing. very underwhelming, the bombards are too random to help in the early game and not big/dps enough to help in the late game. there are better options for crowd control.
Santa water: humble at first, but really kicks butt in the late game. once upgraded it surrounds you with a ring of dps dealing water that weakens all the enemies before they get mowed down by your other weapons. not a priority to upgrade in the early game, but after about 10 mins i start boosting this one up. spellbinder is useful here, and candelabrador helps a bit. One of the biggest dps of all your weapons.
Runetracer: it starts off passing through enemies so it can help a lot with early game crowd control, with all upgrades deals a great amount of dps all over the map. also, makes your screen look like a rave so that’s fun. solid pickup for all stages of the game.
Lightning ring: fun but random usefulness in the early game. pretty good at crowd control throughout all stages and deals a ton of dps, though it doesn’t feel as reliable as santa water.
Garlic: quite good in the early game when all the enemies have little hp, can melt through clumps of enemies for the first few minutes. however it quickly gets overwhelmed in the mid game by tankier foes, and ceases to do anything from then on. even with all upgrades will do only a small amount of dps.
Pentagram: novelty pickup that nukes the field every minute or so, but unless fully upgraded leaves you without xp or treasure chests, and even fully upgraded it doesn’t leave you all treasure and xp. feels nice when it goes off but it doesn’t compensate for a bad build.
Clock lancet: not much of a weapon, more of a defense. it freezes your foes for a short time. while they’re frozen they cant nom you so it can come in handy to make an escape but since its not dealing dps i generally avoid this one.
Laurel: pure defense, is useful in the early game to escape from tight spots but less helpful in the late game. it can save your butt from a dumb mistake like running right into a boss but i avoid this one too.
Bones: for my boy mortaccio. fills a similar role to runetracer/cross, bouncing around damaging enemies all over the map. Not flashy but about as good as runetracer, very solid dps at all stages of the game.
Spinach: the effect is always gonna be useful, though i don’t prioritize this unless i have the fire wand to back it up. if I’ve got a free slot by the end i’d take this.
Armor: helps in the early game against enemies that don’t do much damage, but in the mid to late game it barely helps. much better to kill your foes before they get too close.
Hollow heart: the effect isn’t that noticeable on it own but if i have the whip i will always get this if possible.
Pummarola: the rate of healing here isn’t enough to be worthwhile, especially in the mid to late game. i avoid it.
Empty tome: almost always a great pickup, even if you don’t have the magic wand. helps just about every weapon.
Candelabrador: if you’ve got the axe, you need this. also makes lots of other weapons’ effects bigger, which is nice for the whip and santa water.
Bracer: it does slightly improve all your projectile weapons, but i don’t consider it a must. get it if you have the knife for some reason, or you’ve got nothing better to get.
Spellbinder: if you have king biblia you might as well get this. also useful for santa water, runetracer and bones.
Duplicator ring: great pickup for just about every build and every game stage. only gets upgraded a couple times but it make almost every weapon in your arsenal just plain old better. if i see this, i get it.
Wings: slightly handy in the early and mid game, but by the late game you move less and less so it becomes pretty useless.
Attractorb: helps make leveling easier; lets you walk less. i kinda like getting this one if i already have everything else i want. in the very late game you can just sit there and vacuum up tons of xp.
Clover: being lucky is pretty good for the increased chance of 4 item options, but unless I’ve got the cross already i usually avoid this. instead just get the luck power-up (after the amount one, of course)
Crown: seems good in theory especially in the early game, to increase the rate of lvl gain, though you have to use lvls to upgrade it, so I’m not sure it helps too much. if you survive to the late game you’ll have more xp than you need, but in that case perhaps this helps with turning xp in coins if you’re grinding coins.
Stone mask: not big enough of a gain to justify it in my opinion. good only if you are hardcore grinding for coins.
Summing it all up
In the beginning you want to gain as much xp as quickly as possible, so the first few level-ups should be looking for a weapon that can help against specific, single enemies. Depending on the starting weapon of the character, i prefer the magic wand, though whip, bones and cross can do the job in the early stage. In total, you’ll want a couple of these types of weapons, ones that deal damage to specific targets based on your positioning. the knife does this too but at least with my playstyle will eventually fall off in usefulness once you’re constantly surrounded by enemies.
After one or two of those you’ll want to find a couple crowd control weapons for down the road. For the close-quarters crowd control I prefer king biblia, though an axe will fill the same role once its evolved. if you plan on going axe, start upgrading it sooner rather than later, (and dont forget the candelabrador) you’ll want it ready by about 15 mins. although its great in the beginning, garlic is a poor choice for this role as it will become useless after about 10 mins.
For more general, all over the screen crowd control you’ll want something like fire wand (especially once evolved) or santa water. Cross, runetracer, unevolved axe, and lightning ring can help fill this role too, especially in the mid game, but i wouldnt rely on those by themselves for the late game. Either of the birds or the pentagram also fills this role, but i prefer the other options.
So, in summary, I’ve noticed that a typical solid build includes: two or three directional weapons, at least one close-quarters crowd control weapon, and two or three general crowd control weapons, alongside any buffs required to evolve and compliment them. an example that I enjoy playing is mortaccio with bones, magic wand, whip, king biblia/axe, runetracer, santa water in the top row. duplicator ring, empty tome, hollow heart, spellbinder, candelabrador if i go for axe, maybe spinach or something else if i dont, and attractorb in the bottom row.
I am by no means an expert, this is my thoughts on the game as it stands. Your playstyle could be different! Enjoy the game and try new things!
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