There are two ways to go about race selection: Picking a strategy in advance, or keeping open to whatever the dungeon presents. The most broadly useful races could be considered Halfling and Gnome when playing challenge dungeons. This is because you are virtually guaranteed to use (see Boss Battling
One strategy that can be effective is to play the game as if there were 3 distinct phases to it: Scouting, Preparation, and Boss Battling
- Scouting: Levels 1 to 3. It's not possible (with the exception of the Factory) to kill monsters of significantly higher level at this stage, but it can be useful to do some quick scouting around the dungeon and find what Gods and Runes are available, as well as what Boss spawned (if playing Normal or Ranked modes).
- Preparation: Levels 3 to 7. It's possible to kill monsters of significantly higher level during this phase, to generate more exp, allowing for use of basic strategies, such as the level-up steamroll and experience catapult, to maximize the amount of available exp in the level.
- Boss Battling: Levels 7 to 10. At this point, dungeon exploration likely stops (unless you're using a poison glyph against a boss), and the battle begins. It can be useful at this point to be 1 experience from the next level, allowing the player to use the level-up steamroll to instantly heal to full health and mana, possibly even multiple times during the fight.
The preparation phase for the boss battles is highly significant, as it requires maximizing exp gain, minimizing resource usage, and choosing an appropriate strategy. It's worthwhile to note that while dungeon exploration is itself technically a limited resource, it is often desirable or even necessary to exhaust all dungeon exploration during this phase to maximize exp gain, unless intending to use a APHEELSIK glyph to defeat the boss(es). In challenge dungeons, where there is two bosses, it can be helpful to try to leave a corridor, corner, or area unexplored to allow for regeneration between boss battles.
When reaching level 6 to 7, it's often beneficial to have explored most if not all of the dungeon, and begin creating an "exp farm." By weakening several lower level monsters to within a single hit from death, they can be finished later to gain exp for further level steamrolling. Note, it is less useful or even dangerous to leave creatures with the First Strike ability weakened as a part of an exp farm, as they will deal still deal damage to you when you come back to finish them off.
Leveling as a "regeneration" point is often under-used by less experienced players. Leveling up is similar in effect to exploring 13 (or more if you have an increased max mana) tiles of dungeon, but without allowing enemy monsters to regenerate.
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The ideal position to be in when starting a boss battle is at Level 7 with 34 / 35 experience, with proper runes, and all health / mana potions remaining. This allows for the player to utilize all mana and health against the boss before killing a level 1 creature, and instantly regenerating to full. The player can then repeat this until unable to safely level from killing non-Boss creatures, and then begin the final half of the boss battle, wherein the player uses their remaining health & mana potions, and anything else available to defeat the boss. In dungeons with two bosses, it can often be effective to kill the "hard hitting" boss with magic attacks (as they usually have lower max health), saving all health and mana potions for the "tank" boss, who generally doesn't retaliate as powerfully.
Most challenge dungeons have 2 bosses: one hard hitter, one tank. An effective strategy can be to kill the hard hitter with fireballs while using an exp farm to advance from 7 to 10, then fighting the tank with your remaining resources.
- Normal / Ranked => Strategy depends on the boss.
- Snake Pit => Hitter: Gorgon, Tank: Serpent
- Library => Hitter: Warlock, Tank: Dragon
- Crypt => Hitter: Wraith, Tank: Zombie
- Factory => This is the exception. Physical damage works better on both, and life drain is often the easiest 100% success.
- Level one: Because of playing as an Elven Rogue, level one of the campaign allows for strategies that include two-two, four-two, and even six-two (six fireballs, two melee!) attack styles. Abuse this advantage heavily, and pick up any items along the way that allow for increased max mana, or mana potions. Keep spending to a minimum if you intend to beat the entire campaign. Collecting a CYDSTEPP glyph makes this level an almost guaranteed victory.
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