Annotated Playthrough Dragon Isles
0. Blah blah intro
Prep for melee. Taurog for boons and compression because taurog is going to fill our inventory.
No sparkles, Taurog will be placed near the entrance to the level. I explore to find him.
That's not Taurog! Sometimes the level generator places the altar underneath the trees below the dungeon entrance.
There he is. I've also discovered some glyphs. These two are prime conversion glyphs, we won't need them with this build. I won't convert them yet since if I convert them while worshipping Taurog I'll get 10 piety for each glyph.
I've converted the glyphs and I've also drunk my mana potion. It is highly unlikely I'll need the mana potion later and it gives me +2 damage now because of the tri-sword. I have also used the compression seal on the tri-sword to free up some space.
I explore, looking for a good level 1 kill. As a berserker we're going to want to find a level 2-3 magic user. I've found an apothecary while exploring. I'll buy a burn salve as it's cheap and use it, giving me +2 damage. I'll also convert that CYDSTEPP glyph. If I had thought of it at the time I would have gone down into the Smuggler's Den and grabbed the mana booster down there, then cast CYDSTEPP before converting it. I could have easily saved the death protection for the boss.
I find a shop with the Gloves of Midas. An automatic buy for me this early in the game, it will pay for itself many times over and then we can convert it for 65 points. A great find.
A perfect target for me. I'll hit it once, then regen part of my health using dark tiles, then hit it again, killing it. Notice that because I've prepared Taurog all of the enemies in the dungeon have the "Cowardly" trait. This means when I hit the enemy it will try to run away 1 square.
I attack the Dragon once, it runs backwards one square and I advance one square. This heals me and the dragon a little bit but I can still kill him with my next shot. So I do.
After killing the Dragon I buy Taurog's Blade. +5 damage is huge at this level.
I explore a bit more but don't find any good enemies targets. Ideally I would have liked another level 2 so that I can get 1 bonus experience off it. All the little bits add up. I do find a level 4 Animated Armour, which I know I'll be able to regen-fight at level 2 so I level up by killing a level 1 Druid.
I bought Taurog's helm, maxing out my magic resist at 65%. See how I can remove 1 layer of death protection from the Animated Armour. All I need to do is attack it once, then use dark tiles to regenerate my health, then attack it again and repeat this process until it dies.
After removing 1 death protection notice how its damage has been reduced. Every time you remove a death protection from an Animated Armour it's damage gets reduced a little more. I have also uncovered the GETINDARE glyph. This is one of the few glyphs that is useful for this build as we can use it to eke out an edge in combat. IMAWAL is another good one for giving us an experience boost. If you think you can use a glyph effectively don't be scared to keep it for a while but remember you will lose 2 piety every time you cast a glyph.
I kill the AA and explore. I don't find any perfect targets but I can kill this level 3 zombie and get some bonus experience for it.
I look for my next target and find a level 5 Druid. Druids are *the* perfect target for us because of their low magical damage attack. I can easily kill this level 5 druid at level 3, giving us some nice bonus experience.
I explore some more, killing a level 1 Serpent which was in the way. I'm getting close to the next level and I don't want to accidentally level up off a level 1 or 2 enemy so I look for the highest level mob I can find so I can get some bonus experience off it. This level 4 snake will do.
This level 9 Druid is in the way but I can knock it back using "Cowardly" to my advantage.
I find BURNDAYRAZ and convert it.
I toy with regen fighting the druid but it would take far too many dark tiles to kill it so I keep exploring.
I find a level 4 Dragon, not a terrible target so I kill it.
A level 8 Druid may be within our reach, I should be able to regen fight it.
I hit it twice and find I am 1 damage point off killing it. Luckily I have a fortitude potion I bought and forgot about so I drink it for +2 damage and finish the Druid off.
If I can kill a level 8 Druid at level 4 I could probably kill a level 9 Druid at level 5, so I do.
This puts me at level 6. A level 6 Dragon spawn is looking at me funny so I kill it.
I realise my piety is getting high so I buy the last 2 Taurog items. I don't need them yet so I'll leave them on the ground.
I find the subdungeon passage and The Firstborn. This is good, now we know where they are.
I look for a good target but I can't really find one. Even this low level Goo I can't kill because it resists my attacks and I have no resists against its attacks.
I realise I have forgotten to get the Attack Booster out of the Smuggler's Den, I start getting it when I *then* realise I shouldn't waste all these dark tiles looking for it.
Out of curiosity I smack The Firstborn and realise I can probably regen fight it if I level up. So I kill some popcorn and reach level 7.
I convert my Gloves of Midas to make room for the Wereward.
I regen fight The Firstborn, knocking it all the way up the right hand side of the level while grabbing the Attack Booster from the Smuggler's Den and exploring dark tiles at the bottom of the level.
It's always a bit of a let-down when you fight a hard boss and you don't get a level out of it. I can go into the subdungeon now but I won't because I haven't really explored all of the top yet. There could be boosters I've missed, shops with useful items or potions to drink. I check out the shops and find the Viper Ward. This is an amazing item for this build on this level since we need to fight 2 level 9 poisonous dragons to get to the final boss. This won't crop up every run though so I won't buy it. If you see it, buy it and keep it, it will save you potions later on.
I grab enough health to start regen fighting the level 6 AA.
An easy kill, now I start fighting the level 8.
Another easy kill. I have made sure I have used almost all of my health because when I go into the subdungeon I'll reveal 9 dark tiles. That is pretty much a full heal.
Now I need to kill these Dragon Guards. Their mana burn I can ignore since I don't need glyphs for this part of the level. I can't quite beat them though, I need to boost my damage a bit.
I convert GETINDARE and I also buy the Viper Ward and convert it. I have room now for Taurog's armour so I pick it up. My piety is pretty high so I pre-buff death protection by buying it from Taurog. I can now kill this Dragon Guard and get a level up off him.
I proceed to kill the Dragon Guard on the left, removing the stone and opening the passage. The next two dragons are the same type and I can kill them easily. This levels me up to 9.
This is the first of two Dragon Elites which are between us and the boss. They do physical damage (Our Weakness! Curses) so to get the edge on them I'll need to use potions. What I need is one "free" attack on each of the Dragon Elites. This is where our apothecary preparations come in. Against the first Dragon I can use the Reflex Potion to double-attack him with one hit, killing him in the process.
After killing the first Dragon Elite I'll be poisoned, so I'll have to drink a health potion to cure me. I will also need to set up a "dodge" for the second Elite using the Quicksilver potion. I head above ground to smack some enemies until I queue up a dodge.
The quicksilver potion is a little confusing so I'll try and explain it simply. Drinking the potion gives you effectively 2 buffs, a 10% chance to dodge buff and a "if you get damaged by an enemy you get 10% more chance to dodge" buff. When you are about to dodge an attack the "Next Hit" window will tell you and allow you to use the dodge effectively. After you have dodged an attack the buffs granted by the Quicksilver potion will be removed.
After drinking the health potion I head up and find a level 7 AA who will work nicely. Really any enemy that has death protections will work since they will always get an attack in, even level 1 enemies. Using the level 7 AA I can also set up a kill for later on though.
I hit the AA until "!DODGE!" pops up in my "Next Hit" box.
Like an idiot I head downstairs without regenerating my health. I attack the Elite anyway and dodge his attack. This leaves me at the same health and unpoisoned. I can't take another hit from the Elite without dying so I go and regenerate some health using dark tiles hoping I can maintain my advantage.
I can, barely.
I kill him and now I need to chug a health potion to cure my poison.
I clean up some popcorn mobs to hit level 10.
Now we fight the Matron. Look at her ridiculous stats. Here's how this is going to go down. The matron lowers resists by 15% every attack, I only have 100 health and she does 112 damage so after a few attacks I won't be able to survive an attack at full health. I will use my health potions to deal normal attacks while I still have resists and then rely on death protections for my final attacks.
I Drink my WHUPAZ potion and smack Matron for the first time.
I attack her again, she has already decimated my magic resistance.
I drink two health potions and go in for another attack.
I drink my last health potion and my resists are down to 20%. I can't survive another attack so I regenerate my health using dark tiles to take advantage of my last survivable attack.
Only 3 tiles were needed. Those 3 tiles also regenerates 30 of Matrons health but it allows me to have one extra attack, the net effect is dealing 146 damage.
Regen fighting is not an option, my resistances are too low, even if I used 10 dark tiles to regen to full health the matron would still one-shot me. I attack her knowing my death protection will save me.
Note from me on reflection: I never grabbed the health booster from the Smuggler's Den. That would have put me on 110 health and allowed me to take one extra hit by regen fighting when I was at 5% magic resist.
Now I need to buy another death protection to get another attack, Taurog sells them at 20 piety for the first one and then 10 piety more expensive each time after that. By buying one well in advance I can give myself some wiggle room. I could buy 2 more easily but I would need 20 more piety for a third death protection. If I really, really needed to I could desecrate an altar of one of the other gods in the dungeon.
The other two gods here are Dracul and Mystera Annur. When desecrating an altar the god of the altar you just desecrated punishes you with their "Punishment". For Dracul this means loosing 20 maximum health and for MA this means giving every enemy in the dungeon +15% resist to both magic and physical damage. Were the situation to arise Dracul would be preferable, since we're relying on death protections anyway reducing max health is not a problem for us. The first desecration would give us +30 piety, enough to buy a third death protection.
Note from me on reflection: I shouldn't have picked up all the piety surrounding gods at the beginning of the game. That peity may be useful lategame in the final boss battle.
The death protect we bought is all we needed to beat her. Looking at this screenshot now I realise I could have bought another large item, I had plenty of gold and space for an item, dang.
Anyway, that's a win. Now I celebrate with my Dragon Shield.
I require more dragon shields.