Slay the Spire by Mega Crit Games is a roguelike game that uses cards as means to direct the player. Even from when the game was first released as an early access, it proved to be an amazingly fun game. What it also is, though, is difficult. For those who are not prepared for a challenge, it can be a struggle to complete a run even once.
It's important to note that Slay the Spire is a game that very much has that 'just one more' mentality. So for those of you who struggle to complete it at all or who can't seem to climb ascension ranks, here are 10 Pro Tips For Slay The Spire You Should Know.
10 Keep Your Deck Small
In the beginning it can be tempting to keep on adding all the interesting new cards to your deck. This seemingly innocent act can lead you to a frustrating loss where you keep wondering where that one card you need is. Which is the crux of this problem, the more cards you have in your deck, the less chances you have of drawing your important cards.
This doesn't mean that you should keep your base deck though. Instead, pick up the kinds of powerful cards you need to combat the boss at the end of the current act. Use the removal options from events and shops to cull away unnecessary cards. This includes the basic strikes you start out with as they are often the worst card in your deck.
9 Adapt Your Strategy
Slay the Spire's deck building mechanic is really fun and building synergies can be doubly fun. When you run into a really beefy elite enemy or boss and stack poison to ludicrous levels, it's very satisfying. As a result of this it can be very tempting to decide that in this run you're going to focus on this particular strategy. That way of thinking can lead to further frustrations.
In the first act, it's not easy to build a particular synergy because it's up to luck. What you should do instead is to grab the stand-alone powerful cards, the kind that you know can help you defeat elites and the act boss. If a synergy happens to fall into your lap while doing that, great, keep on building it. If not, you can still win without synergy.
8 Pick The Right Card
So when the synergies aren't coming along or if you don't know which way to take your deck, what do you pick? The first and most important answer is defense. Each act provides limited opportunities to heal and if you do use them, you're not making yourself stronger. Pick up defensive cards to help prevent damage, this is especially important for characters not named Ironclad.
Because of the variety of enemies you'll face, you'll need to learn which cards work best against them. You will need AOE attacks to deal with multiple enemies or enemies that summon minions. Cards that weaken can also be vital, particularly against bosses and elites with multi-hitting attacks. Make sure your deck is well-rounded enough to handle a variety of enemies.
7 Know When To Defend
If you keep accruing damage, then you will inevitably fall. Each of the different characters have different ways to mitigate their own deaths. But while it is important to defend, that doesn't mean it's always correct to do so. If you can kill an enemy, it may be better to do that than to defend. What matters is your health total after the encounter, not round to round.
There are also enemies where defending is counter productive. An Elite that can be fought early on, Gremlin Nob, is one such enemy. Gremlin Nob activates an ability that buffs him every time you use a skill and your early defenses are all skills. There are other situations with other enemies that may require you to ignore defense in favor of offense.
6 Know Your Enemies
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of Slay the Spire and roguelikes in general, is that there are so many unknowns. In Slay the Spire you need to learn what cards work together, which artifacts are the strongest for your build and, most importantly, what your enemies are going to do.
There are only two ways to learn how to defeat your enemies, experience it yourself with failure and all or look them up. The first method is arguably the more fun and satisfying method but the second method is much easier. This is vital because there are many enemies that will require you to change your tactics. Additionally, each of the first three acts has three different possible bosses you can fight that each require different strategies to overcome.
5 Study The Map
This is such an important thing to do whenever you start a new run, even if it can be tedious. Not only will reading the map allow you to see which boss you'll fight but it will also show you what route to take. To note, the spot before the boss will always be a campfire, so plan for that accordingly.
Slay the Spire is a game about taking your time and making sure your next move is the right one. The map helps you with this by not only letting you choose your fights but also when to rest. One more thing needs to be said, don't be afraid to alter your chosen route if you find that you suddenly don't have enough health to take on an elite.
4 Use Your Resources
The game gives you ample resources to use to overcome its challenges. This can range from artifacts, to money, to potions. Each of these play a pivotal role in overcoming difficult fights. Artifacts are mostly permanent and are acquired through various means. It's easy to pick up an artifact and kind of forget it, many of them don't require much thought to use but some will reward thinking ahead.
Money is another valuable resource that not only lets you buy artifacts and cards but also lets you remove cards from your deck. There's no bonus to keeping money till the end so be sure to spend it. Finally there's the potions, the resource most forgotten. Potions run into the problematic mentality of saving them for later. For sure they can be vital in a boss fight but don't be afraid to use them against any enemy you're having trouble with.
3 Learn To Assess Risks
Another important aspect of Slay the Spire is knowing which risks to take. This will vary not just with what cards you have but also what stage of the game you're on. In the first and second act your aim is to become powerful. The most reliable way of doing this is to collect good cards and powerful artifacts. Elites are the most reliable way to acquire artifacts and you should fight every elite you can in these first couple of acts.
But sometimes it's not worth it, especially if it'll mean you won't be full or as close as possible to full health by the boss. In times like this you need to decide if the risk is worth the reward. This goes for any other random event the game throws at you. Sometimes its worth taking a curse, other times it's not.
2 Learn Your Character
In the full release of the game there are currently three playable characters. Each of these characters have different strengths and weaknesses. The Ironclad is much more forgiving because of the relic he starts with which heals him after combat. He also tends to be more straightforward with his cards.
The Silent's relic draws you two additional card at the start of each encounter. Her cards are much more combo focused and it's easy to fall into the trap of pursuing synergies. The Defect's relic channels an orb of lightning, its special mechanic, at the start of combat. The Defect plays out very differently. It's important to acknowledge that each character will do better against certain enemies and to know which cards to pick up to make up for such weaknesses.
1 Learn To Enjoy Both Victory And Defeat
It's a guarantee that you will not win every run of Slay the Spire you start. Sometimes that's because you made a silly mistake early on against some tough elite. Other times you decided to go for a specific synergy but didn't get the cards and relics you needed. If you let these defeats get to you and stop enjoying the game, you'll stop improving.
Enjoy the defeats and the victories together, go for silly synergies. Pick the random options given to you that may mess up your run or win it for you. Slay the Spire is, once again, a game that encourages you to play multiple runs of it so enjoy whatever it decides to offer you. Because you can be sure that it will decide to end your run when it wants to, sometimes.