Wanted to share this fun little strat!

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Wanted to share this fun little strat!

Postby TheSchachter on Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:30 pm

I hesitated about making a new topic for this, since it's not particularly new or unusual, and for all I know this has been a known strategy by everyone else for a while... but it's an idea that occurred to me during a PQI (Parched Orc Transmuter in Vicious Halls of Steel) that I found to be a lot of fun for how unintuitive it is: it involves prepping both the Bear Mace and the Titan Guitar!

I'm sure that a lot of you have figured out what makes it work, but here's the general idea: Be an Orc Transmuter and prepare the Titan Guitar, the Bear Mace, and Earthmother (Burn Salve also highly useful). Other preps are either obvious or situational. You get a fantastic Transmuter start: LEMMISI spam until you know exactly what you're up against and what your tools are (other altars, glyphs, bosses, subdungeons), which are now guaranteed to be accessible then start worshiping Earthmother to grab IMAWAL. Start creating walls as you explore in the direction of the glyphs/shops you want to pick up; it's a very reliable and cheap way (3 mana, castable on any emtpy tile) to build up CP via the Transmuter's ability, and you should be trying to set up walls next to potential targets so you can use the Bear Mace to amplify your Transmuter/Orc boosted base damage, and use Vine form and Greenblood to boost your lvl 1 so you can take on higher level enemies early (corrosion's interaction with knockback is especially nice here).

Basically, this is a start that takes powerful but sometimes unreliable elements and makes them just about as efficient and reliable as I can imagine. Titan Guitar obviously makes Earthmother almost risk-free, but it also ensures that whatever LEMISI discovers will be accessible with minimal wasted blackspace. Meanwhile, you start off IMAWAL and space to cast it as often as you can, so you're guaranteed a way to efficiently build CP, AND quite possibly the most reliable way to make use of knockback damage; every target, with few exceptions, can have walls set up behind it to benefit from knockback, which itself is especially effective thanks to both the Transmuter's frequent spirit swords and the Orc's extra base damage with transmuter-worthy CP levels. IMAWAL ensures that you get the most EXP out of your Spirit Sword conversions, and Entanglement is the guaranteed first strike and bonus XP on popcorn we all know and love.

I was happy to find that this enabled me to take on VT Labyrinth (Rex + Goo) on my first try, ending at level 9 (no balanced dagger). Though it's a very strong and reliable start, I don't think it has in-built answers for everything; Vine form can get you to tank the basic VT boss damage of 120, and Earthmother obviously has great mana-spike capabilities, but you may need to find solutions to more extreme situations in-dungeon. Thankfully, that's one of the Transmuter's strongest point, thanks to starting with LEMISSI, and if EM outlives her usefulness, you can easily convert then desecrate her.

This is probably harder to do in a dungeon like Double Doom, that has a more restrictive non-wall layout, but so far I've found this to be a very satisfying Transmuter strategy, that plays to the class' strengths and makes its "figure out a strategy on the fly" aspect work well even on the VT.

So, yeah, none of this by itself is groundbreaking, but I thought I'd share and collect thoughts! Had anyone else combined those elements together before? Am I actually the 10th person to come up with it? Any ideas for improving it? :P

I may make a video of it later :)
Last edited by TheSchachter on Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little combot strat!

Postby Darvin on Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:40 pm

So basically you tear the dungeon down, then rebuild it so you can break it down again?

Cool :D
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little combot strat!

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:54 pm

What do you mean it isn't groundbreaking? O.O

My jaw dropped at about paragraph 2 and I've yet to pick it up!

(Picks jaw off floor)

Wow! Most I ever got out of Imawal wall building was some Mytera spam fodder here and there, and a lot of fun with Gorgons, but this crazy awesome!

And just when you think EM couldn't get weirder :D (there's also some good general Transmuter tips in there, big props!)
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little combot strat!

Postby Darvin on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:13 pm

Lujo wrote:Wow! Most I ever got out of Imawal wall building was some Mytera spam fodder here and there

I've gone nuts with it a couple times with Paladins of Binlor (also will work for any Binlor worshipper who doesn't care about magic resist). When at 0 piety, spam IMAWAL for more wall fodder.
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little combot strat!

Postby Astral on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:41 pm

So far I've only spammed Imawal with Half-dragons and Binlor Palas, so very cool you came up with this!
Really nice strat, will give it a try!
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little combot strat!

Postby TheSchachter on Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:32 am

Haha, well I'm glad this sounds interesting to other players. I'm pretty satisfied with how the strat plays, but it's actually a bit trickier than I had initially expected; prepped earthmother fills up the map really quickly even without any walls, and the titan guitar leaves empty squares that can still cause blockages when combined with plants and monsters, so you do have to be a bit careful where you plop down your walls. Also I always understimated how quickly a lot of important stuff (boosters, shops, altars) get covered in plants, so some EM piety management is required.That said, I like how this strategy tends to make you altar hop-back and forth between EM and other gods, since clearance spikes tend to work best when saved last.

Still, despite a ton of little and less little mistakes, I just took down VT Super Meat Man and earned Parched+Ding Max with both subdungeons mostly unexplored (not to mention I totally forgot to go check my secret subdungeon at the start, which was Glenrick; I wasted a ton of bonus EXP because of that!). I definitely feel there's a lot of power there, and I'm sure I could play it better with a bit of practice...

Also, I really like to think of it as a "reverse transmuter", since the original Transmuter destroyed walls to gain power, whereas this one builds CP by building walls instead! :)

I'll try and make a video for it tomorrow (I almost converted into Binlor tonight, and while that might actually have worked given how much stuff I'd petrified, I take it as a sign that I need to go to sleep). If anyone plays around with it, let me know what you think!
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little strat!

Postby Tinker on Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:57 am

Holy Goat!
This just made my day...
I'll call this strat the "Interior Decorator" and test it next time I DD. :twisted:
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little strat!

Postby caviar on Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:27 pm

Very nice! Always happy to see EM+titan guitar antics :D

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Re: Wanted to share this fun little strat!

Postby TheSchachter on Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:58 am

Well, I just went and made a video. You can tell I haven't attempted to record high-end stuff in a while, the video overall is pretty terrible! XD The resulting run is okay though, shows off the strat quite nicely. Thanks again to Tinker for coming up with such a great name! :D (I do hope it's okay for me to steal it!)

http://youtu.be/mu6o8lhO2AM

(I mention this in the video, but I got very close to beating VT Demonic Library with this strat. I'll be giving it another attempt or two soon... Here's hoping it'll give me my first Vicious+VT win!)
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Re: Wanted to share this fun little strat!

Postby Tinker on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:46 am

TheSchachter wrote:Thanks again to Tinker for coming up with such a great name! :D (I do hope it's okay for me to steal it!)

Sure, be my guest... :)
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