Slay the Spire

Silent has some great card draw (e.g. Backflip, Calculated gamble, Prepared; I don’t love Acrobatics unless at 5 energy), the best card retention of the original three characters (via Well Laid Plans), the most accessible block retention (Blur), a way of playing block for the next turn (Dodge and Roll), a way of converting any card plays to block (After Image), and the most reliable access to Intangible (Wraith Form).

So I find that with defense, there’s ways to make it work. Offense can be trickier, since you’ll probably be packing fewer offensive cards. If you’re dependent on getting a single copy of Catalyst on just the right turn, all the card draw in the world won’t save you with a thick deck.

So, tonight I played 4 runs as Silent on Ascension 1, with the explicit goal of beating the Heart rather than just act 3. Just to see if my belief of actually having gotten better at the game was true, and to see if the fat decks I argued for really would work against the Heart. (Which I usually don’t go for).

All four attempts reached the Heart, three won.

  1. Won on round 9 via getting free block from relics on rounds 1, 2 and 3 (got all three of them) and then staying intangible for the rest of the fight (with a doubled up Wraith Form + the incense burner + an intangible potion). This was a 36 card deck that had a Well-Laid Plans and tons of card draw from Predator+, 2x Backflip+, Acrobatics+, and 2*Dopperganger+, so there were no trouble with having the right cards available on each round.

    Once the intangible ran out, I then had one more round of 40 block at zero energy from Panic Button (which I could retain at will), so there was very little risk in this fight.

  2. Played on the Switch, which has somewhat different balancing. Most importantly Well-Laid Plans has energy cost 0, which makes it an absolute no-brainer. This game was a loss. Blocking wasn’t a huge issue (the fight went to round 9), but I just didn’t have sufficient burst damage. Basically it had just three energy, and in the endgame ended up too reliant on poison despite not having even a single Catalyst. That was a 40 card deck.

    It had worked in Act 3 via getting basically infinite dex scaling from Kunai + Ornamental Fan + shivs. But that just wasn’t viable against the Heart, since it scales a lot faster than that. Maybe an After Image would have helped.

  3. This one was a bizarre run, since I ended up starting the game with Transmutation. (X energy to gain X colorless cards, each costing 0 for this round). Which is good, but rather high variance. So I was just going into early fights with absolutely no idea of what I’d be playing with. Ended up with an absolutely disgusting 41 card deck:

    Runic pyramid ensured I never cared about having the right cards. 2*Wraith Form+, with Orange Pellets to make sure I could just immediately get rid of the dex loss debuff. 4 backstabs which trivialized most non-boss fights, 3 Catalyst+, a Caltrops+, and a lot of other goodies. That fight was over in 6 rounds, took 14 damage.

  4. The last game was maybe the most interesting one, because it seemed to be going really badly. I took the Coffee Dripper as the first boss reward, despite not having any alternative form of healing. It worked fine in act 2, but I got absolutely mauled by the Reptomancer as my Act 3 elite (17 hp; no healing available) and had to plan what might be my most cowardly route ever. Which was particularly bad since I’d taken the Black Star as the Act 2 reward, and was really counting on fighting 3 elites to get some value out of the Black Star.

    The relics in general were just utterly mediocre. The only thing of any relevance other than the Coffee Dripper was the Paper Crane which makes Weak reduce damage by 40% instead of 20%. There was no source of intangible, and nothing giving any kind of scaling over the battle.

    This was 37 cards, with basically no dedicated attack cards added during the game. 2 Backstabs (which don’t clog the deck), 1 Dash, 2 Dash+ (which generate a ton of block in addition to the attack), a Sucker Punch+ (mostly for inflicting Weak), and a full upgraded set of 5 Strike+.

    The star here was having 5 dexterity, 3 Dodge and Roll+, 5 Defense+, and 2 Piercing Wail. Combined with a bottled Well-Laid Plans+ and the heart’s super-simple pattern, it was really hard to get screwed on getting the blocks on the wrong round.

This was kind of fun, since I’d previously just beaten the heart once, and then concentrated on climbing ascensions. And that one win took like 25 attempts :-P Maybe I’ll try it with the other characters too.

Got this in the Humble Bundle. Somehow won my first run, despite not being very good at deckbuilders in general. My deck was stupidly bloated, but Demon Form guaranteed in my starting hand each time did a lot of work.

Finally got a Defect heart-win today. This isn’t something I normally go after, but my build was so freaking powerful and unstoppable even as the third spire started that I went for it and won without any issue. Just an incredible deck that really came together when my 4th relic was the mummy hand that makes powers cause a random card in hand to cost nothing - I filled my deck with heatsinks (draw cards when you play powers), storm (gain lightning when you play powers), and a creative AI to get a random power every turn, which was usually one of the above or even something amazing like echo form. Play, play, play the powers and watch the enemies fry! I finally got an Electrodynamite or whatever it is (all enemies are hit by lightning) and then I used a miror on it at a shop to get a second one, because it’s my favorite power for the Defect.

Just a mind blowing run. It helped I was geting double-value, and health, from potions and they were dropping after every fight, too, for sure.

The most ridiculous deck I ever had was a Defect deck with 5 upgraded storms and an upgraded heatsink that always started in my hand and a mummy’s hand. Killed everything on the first turn, pretty neat.

I am the worst at this game. I picked it up for Switch right after it came out (I think it was in January) and within the first few days managed to get through act 3 with armor guy and orby. Since then I’ve made about a billion attempts with the silent and I think I’ve only seen the act 3 boss twice. Most runs end by early act 2. Please help I just want to finish this so I can go back to playing the other characters that I like.

Poison. But also. . . poison!

What seems to be giving you issues? Can’t kill fast enough? Can’t block the big hits? Missing useful synergies?

Hard to say, but it seems like the Silent is super prone to getting screwed by rng on card draws. Like I’ll get a poison card in my first or second fight and then see nothing with poison on it for several fights. So I keep passing on cards but that just means I’m using the base deck for way too long and I’m taking a lot of damage along the way.

Aside from cards that actually have the word poison on them, what else should I be looking for in that deck? Or should I just restart the run at a certain point if I’m not seeing poison instead of wasting my time slowly grinding my way to a loss?

I mean there are other strategies for Silent for sure; I’m just bad at most of them, hah.

Silent generally benefits from taking advantage of their large pool of card draw and deck modification options. Individual cards may not be powerhouses in quite the same way as, I dunno, a Searing Blow +16, lol. But drawing a ton of cards via Backflips and Acrobatics, Retaining via Well Laid Plans, making use of Backpacks… Ensure you always have a way to get to your best options.

You can go nuts with Shivs, especially with the right powers and Relics, but Time Eater and The Heart will make this much harder, especially on higher difficulties; you’ve gotta be able to soak or mitigate a ton of harm between bouts of knife lobbing.

Generally, expect to need a lot of defense (ideally with Footwork) and/or Mitigation, a lot of draw or deck management, and then work towards a scaling damage solution based on relics and rare cards, especially as you move into act 2.

Standard strategy like hitting Elites you can safely tank and playing the ? Mark RNG game are also solid.

As usual, complaining on a forum worked! Finally got to the heart with the Silent. I had a 19 card poison deck with blur and well laid plans.

Now I can start messing around with ascension stuff, woo.

Arghhhh. Just got the Heart down to 100hp on the Defect but couldn’t withstand one of his big 12x hits to deal fatal the next turn. So frustrating, lol.

Fellow VR-philes, sharing that Slay the Spire plays really really well in VR big picture mode using an Oculus Rift and I expect Vive too. The card select and target action is super slick and simple to pull off using a controller. Play speed is about the same and the resolution is more than good enough to read the card text.

Why do this? Well, you know, if you are one of those crazies that likes to sit a little less and move just a little more or just get more use out of your VR headset or . . . be really intimidated by the pulsing screen effect when you reach the Heart :-P

I’ve played this maybe six times in the last several days, trying to beat the heart. I put in most of my hours before beating the heart was a thing, so I’ve never done it. I’m getting to the heart half the time and then losing. In my last game I was psyched. I had what I thought was a good deck, with entrench and some good defensive cards. I beat the 3rd boss, got to the heart and the game ended. I forgot to get the 3rd key. I got the first two very quickly and then just forgot about the 3rd. Urgg that was frustrating.

I finally beat the heart! It was a rough battle too. I had barricade, entrench, a couple flame barrier, ghost armor. Also, the artifact that gives intangible (reduces all damage to 1) every 6 turns was super important. I was intangible on my last turn, when he attacked me like, 12 or 16 times. I probably would have died if that wasn’t the case, but I killed him the next turn.

Woo woo, beat the heart on ascension 1 now. Trying to see how high I can go, although now that I’ve won twice I probably slow down the pace I’ve been playing this to mix in some other games.

FYI, you don’t have to beat the heart to advance Ascension levels. Just the act 3 boss.

Yep, I know thanks. I’m Ascension 16 with the ironclad but I’m starting over to see what I can do when going for the heart.

Had my best ever run with the Silent - 1564 points beating the Heart on Ascension Level 3.

Deck was based around Dead Branch, 4x Cloak and Dagger, Panache, Doppelganger, and Finisher.

Got the achievement for playing 25+ cards in a round and had a Finisher go off for 154 damage (14 x 11 attacks). One Dead Branch draw gave me the (typically useless) Grand Finale but, through a potion that allowed me to pull a card from my discard which then let me draw a card, I managed to play it…but not before using a potion which resulted in my next card (GF) being played twice!

Oh, Singing Bowl didn’t hurt either (was at 108 max HP by the end). :)

Nice! I saw some of your achievements on my friend activity area.

Thanks @robc04! :)

I introduced a mate to StS via the recent humble bundle deal. He’s heavily into board/card games and rarely plays video games, but within a couple of days of owning it he sent me a message to the effect of “what have you done?!”. Such a great game.