Slay The Spire, the deck-building roguelike by Megacrit, is officially out of early access. If you are just starting out on your quest to ascend The Spire and conquer each deadly act, these quick tips will help you do just that.
Understand how block works
Block is your bulwark against damage. Every deck starts with a number of Defend cards which will provide six block for one point of energy and they will serve as your earliest source of defense. Each point of block directly negates one point of damage, and your block expires at the beginning of your next turn.
Like so many of Slay The Spire’s rules, this one can be bent slightly. Relics such as the Calipers, for example, will allow you to retain some of your block — assuming it isn’t chewed through by an enemy — going into your next turn.
Keep in mind that some forms of damage ignore block. Poison’s damage-over-time effect will harm you regardless of how impregnable your defenses are. Similarly, cards which state that you ‘lose health’ will ignore your block, too.
You can increase the efficacy of cards that generate block by 1 for every point of dexterity you gain. Similarly, status ailments such as ‘frail’ will diminish the amount of block you can gain from defensive cards.
Plan your route
At any point you can click the map icon in the upper corner to view the many branching pathways you can take while ascending towards the boss of the act you are on, and you can even see which boss you will face at the end of the act.
More importantly you can see that each path leads to a number of different symbols.
- Unknown – These floors are wild cards. You could run into a merchant, a regular battle, or an elite. You can also happen upon one of dozens of random events where you might get a powerful boon, a chance to roll the dice further at the risk of becoming cursed or walking away with a rare relic, or sometimes tumble down a cliff and have to sacrifice a card to catch yourself on a ledge. More often than not, it is worth taking a chance and finding out what mysteries await.
- Merchant – The merchant will offer a variety of cards, relics, and potions. Usually he will even give you a discount on one of his cards, and his inventory shuffles each time you encounter him. One of the most valuable services he offers is the ability to remove a card from your deck, which we will talk about more later.
- Treasure – Unambiguously beneficial floors which house a chest containing gold and relics.
- Rest – These campfires give a chance to rest and either replenish 30% of your maximum health or upgrade one of your cards. Additionally, relics such as the Peace Pipe, Girya, and Shovel give you even more options like thinning your deck, gaining a point of strength, or unearthing a relic respectively.
- Enemy – An encounter against enemies which are not too threatening. Each act, of course, throws a new set of potential enemy encounters at you. Each completed enemy encounter yields three random cards of which you can pick one to keep (or skip adding any to your deck).
- Elite – Elite enemy encounters are far more dangerous, but yield better rewards. On top of allowing you to choose a card to keep, you can also gain relics from beating elites. If you do not feel confident in taking on these tough opponents, you can usually dodge them by planning your route carefully.
Thin the deck
At the start of combat you draw several cards from your deck. At the end of your turn, any cards that you have not played are shuffled into the discard pile and you draw a new hand from the remaining available cards in your deck. When you have no more cards in the deck to draw from, your entire discard pile is shuffled back into the deck so that you can draw from it.
The nature of the shuffling, of course, is completely random. Generally, you have little control over what you are going to draw and when. This means that you want your deck to be full of potent efficient cards so that you never have to deal with a turn where you draw duds. That means that, as the game goes, you have to seperate the wheat from the chaff and thin your deck out by removing weak cards (typically your strikes you start with, the defends you start with, and troublesome curses you acquire along the way).
It is advised to lose the basic strikes first. Defends can be pruned later so long as you don’t sacrifice too much defense as that will just court calamity.
Experiment with all three classes
Slay The Spire currently features three different classes and they all differ radically in their abilities and mechanics. Each of them start with different relics, have different class-specific cards, and they each take advantage of different features.
The Ironclad can muster their strength, exhaust cards for the entire duration of combat in exchange for some powerful effects, and has the highest starting health pool which facilitates some of their cards that inflict self-damage. The Defect has a complex system of orbs that can be channeled and react by themselves at the end of a turn, or can be spent for more potent effects. The silent can generate an enormous number of free attack cards or deal massive damage over time with poison effects.
Play around with each of them and see which one[s] click best with you!
Be thrifty with potions
Potions are one-time-use consumables you acquire infrequently from combat, unknown events, and can be purchased from the merchant. You begin the game with three empty potion slots on your belt. These consumables can prove to be invaluable resources for getting out of binds as their effects range from gaining block, to dealing burst damage, to negating status ailments — All at no energy cost.
Try to always leave yourself one free potion slot so that you can be efficient and pick new ones up as they come.
Experimentation is key. Each class has a number of perfectly viable winning strategies, and so long as you are observant, strategic, and adaptable, you will rarely, if ever, find yourself lacking for viable options.